Sunday, April 1, 2012

Taking time out to celebrate my students' art

Clifton Ave Grade School Students shine at the 2012 Youth Art Month Exhibit! On March 28, students, families and teachers from all over Ocean County gathered together for one special evening – to celebrate Youth Art Month. Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs. Elisa Waller, Kim Defibaugh and Dawn Wagner, all from the Toms River School District, organized this year’s Ocean County Youth Art Month. The art exhibit was held the Ocean County Library in Lacey. Youth Art Month was created in 1961 by Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc., a non-profit association of art manufacturers, in cooperation with the National Art Education Association. This year was the best turnout ever for the Clifton Avenue Grade School. Not only did my families and students drive down to see the art exhibit, but so did two of my colleagues! I felt so honored by everyone’s support. I most moved by  Kevin's  father when he said that this was one of his proudest moments. To see his son’s artwork and seeing his son recognized for his talents. He wiped away tears of joy. The moment left his teacher, Marybeth, and I utterly speechless. Marybeth, a veteran Lakewood teacher for twenty six years, brought Kevin a gift. She said it was the first time that one of her students won an award or was acknowledged outside the classroom for his talents.  Also in attendance was Mr. John Newton, nominated 2012 Lakewood Teacher of the Year. It's not surprising that John won that award. His lessons are creative and he is dedicated to his students' success - inside and outside the classroom. That is why was there - to say congratulations to his student.  For me, I believe that when children create art, they are exercising a basic human inclination to wonder about, talk about and organize their experiences with the world through the medium of creating. You know when get down it, everyone, including children, just want their stories told and someone to listen to those stories.

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