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Schools celebrate a day dedicated to an art infused education

  • Written by Leanne Christensen, RSD
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Eagle Rock student Rosy King creates glass art with ERMA music teacher, Mrs. Nelson, and AnnRene Joseph. Leanne Christensen, RSD
The month of May was "Washington Arts Education Month," and both Eagle Rock Multi-Age and Carnation Elementary made the most of this creative and inspiring event by inviting local artists and student volunteers to share their talents, secrets and empowering artistic gifts with their school communities.

The artists’ lessons included a broad assortment of art disciplines such as: paper engineering, clay creations, printmaking, painting/drawing, animation, music, drama, pantomime workshops, costuming, dance and glassmaking; truly an "ARTASTIC" event for both schools!

Many studies in recent years have demonstrated the significant difference an art infused education can make for school age children. At the most recent Riverview District School Board meeting guest Dr. Jonelle Adams, executive director of Washington State School Directors Association, shared the importance of the arts in our educational system stating, "Research shows that students highly involved in the arts achieve consistently better outcomes and this includes better grades, less likelihood of dropping out, and more positive attitudes about school."

The importance of an art "full" education was echoed by AnnRené Joseph who is the program supervisor for the arts at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). She was on hand at the school board meeting and at ERMA to share in the celebration of their very first Arts Day.

This event was especially meaningful to her as she was the original program manager at Eagle Rock. In an article she wrote explaining the importance of the arts in our children’s education she stated, "May we continue in this great work – as we touch the future through the fine art of teaching. Each day is a new painting, a new song, a new play and a new dance. The classroom is our stage. The creating, performing, and responding learning opportunities, which we provide, offer transforming life experiences for our students."

Staff and parents at both Carnation Elementary and Eagle Rock would like to thank the following community artists and volunteers for bringing their passion and talent for the arts to their children’s schools for this wonderful day of extraordinary art instruction:

Rachel Blockus, Meghan Maxwell, Jai Kavathekar, Darlene Rose, Marin Van Nostrum, Jack Ballard, Susan Jenkins, Dan Cautrell, Claire Eaton, Simone Oliver, Jo Lee Davidson, Cedarcrest HS thespian students, Jeremy Robkin, Elaina Haack, Laura Henion, Carol Gould, George Henion, Sarah Westfall, Bill Ayers, Brad McRae, Mark Rabe and Talese Heckler.

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