SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2013

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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ADVOCACY Family Art Night Mother and son work together on a metal relief design. Mary Coy S tudents with involved parents are more likely to earn higher grades, pass their classes, attend school regularly, have better social skills, and go on to postsecondary education. At the elementary level, parents are usually provided with an intimate view of curriculum and classroom procedures and are directly involved in many classroom activities. At the middleschool level, however, parents often transition from direct participants to spectators at school activities and sporting events. To help encourage continued support of their child's education and foster an awareness of the arts in the school curriculum, I invite parents to school for an evening of dinner, art, and community. Students are always excited to bring their parents to school, and parents respond well to opportunities to spend quality time with their children. This article highlights ways to organize a memorable event that promotes family learning and a strong arts program in your district. 14 August/September 2013 twenty-five parents. I hold the event in my classroom, which is fairly large, so parents can become familiar with the place where their children work. Working in the cafeteria might be a good alternative. Setting Up Work closely with your custodian ahead of time for extra tables and chairs, and see if your room can be Promoting the Event cleaned as soon as school is over to Prior to advertising your event, expedite set-up. Cover the tables with present the idea to your principal large sheets of craft paper or plastic and check for scheduling conflicts. tablecloths for a festive and clean Advertise the event at least a month look. If you feel you need an extra pair in advance in the school newsletter, of hands, recruit a student-teacher or school announcements, and on your colleague to help. class website. Have registration forms available Feeding the Crowd online and in your room for students Providing a well-organized plan may to take. Send an e-mail to confirm help convince administrators or your registration, and the week before the parent association to help fund the event, send out a event or provide Students are always excited to volunteers to donate friendly reminder bring their parents to school, food. Another alternotice. Invite educaand parents respond well to tion officials and native is to seek school administraopportunities to spend quality donations from tors to join, and local establishtime with their children. ask your district's ments. Keep the communication official to contact the meal simple: pizza and salad for dinlocal media. A photo of your students ner; cookies and apples for dessert; in the paper is a wonderful advocacy water and juice for a beverage. tool. Getting Down to Art How Many People? As soon as families arrive, I have How many people you should involve them put on a nametag, get their dinin your event depends on your space, ner, and enjoy their meal for the first budget, helpers, and comfort level. half hour. Have an agenda written on I average twenty-five students and Continued on page XX. SchoolArts Continued from page 14. ART keeps kids in school. Advertiser Index Advertiser AMACO American for the Arts Bailey Bisque Imports Blick Art Materials Conrad Machine Co. Crayola Davis Art Images Davis Publications, Inc. Debcor Fastenation, Inc. General Pencil Handy Art Jacquard L&L Kilns Media League, The NAEA NASCO PCF Studios Page 52–CIII 15 45 50 CV 45 CII–1 39 8 17 50 41 41 47 39 47 50 7 4 18 50 Advertiser Page Royalwood Ltd. Skutt Vent-A-Kiln 47 2 41 Staff Picks AMACO First Impressions Lamy Montana Uni SketchNation 13 13 13 13 13 13 The Shop Academy of Art University Art Education 2.0 Chicago Canvas Supply Clay Times Magazine Curator's Corner Davis Publications, Inc. SchoolArts Magazine Youth Art Month 48 48 48 48 49 49 49 49 the board so the schedule for the evening can be viewed while people are eating. Take this time to get to know all your guests and tell them how glad you are that they came. Whatever the project, consider having a short but specific learning objective so participants can feel that they learned something new. Offer projects where parent and child can work collaboratively, or individual projects that can be celebrated upon completion. Other Special Touches Consider taking photographs of each student and parent together and candids of people enjoying themselves. After the event, I e-mail families a music video of the evening. The completed video is also sent to administrators and shown on the televised announcements for the school to see. Provide parents with a list of community resources such as museums, exhibits, galleries, art stores, websites, and local art classes to foster continued interest in the arts. Remember to thank your families for coming, and your administrator and custodians for any support given for the event. Showing appreciation paves the way for support of future ideas you may want to pursue. On top of everything, have fun! Mary Coy teaches at Spry Middle School in Webster, New York and is on the SchoolArts editorial advisory board. Mary_coy@rochester.rr.com Web Link www.websterschools.org/webpages/mcoy schoolartsonline.com 45

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