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 SchoolArts 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 cleaned as soon as school is over to expedite set-up. Cover the tables with large sheets of craft paper or plastic tablecloths for a festive and clean look. If you feel you need an extra pair of hands, recruit a student-teacher or colleague to help. Promoting the event Prior to advertising your event, present the idea to your principal and check for scheduling conflicts. Advertise the event at least a month in advance in the school newsletter, school announcements, and on your 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 45.

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