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Art Enriches the Educational Experience in Happy ISD

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February 2, 2015

Forty-six students in grades 1st through 6th participated in an Art Enrichment program during December and January.  The Art Enrichment program allowed interested students to create art using many different mediums, including acrylic paint, oil pastels, water colors, and chalk.  The program culminated in an Art Exhibit highlighting student artwork at the Happy Senior Citizens’ Building.  More than 150 people attended the Art Exhibit and all were excited to see the wonderful art created by the students. 

The Art Classes were held two afternoons a week after school.  Carolyn Bloodworth, community volunteer, and Kelly Hall, 2nd grade teacher, taught the art sessions.  Other Art Enrichment staff included Joli Johnson, Tina McNeill, Laura Bow, and Toni Waldo. 

The 4th – 6th grade students painted two acrylic on canvas pieces and designed and drew an oil pastel on illustration board piece.  The 1st – 3rd grade students used liquid water color and oil pastels to create an underwater scene.  They learned how to add salt and water to create different effects with their water colors.  They also experimented with a chalk owl and turned blobs of color into critters. 

Nick Rabkin, author of  Critical Links: A New Compendium of Research, makes the case for a great many links between learning in the arts and student achievement. His findings show how drawing supports writing skills and how visualization training supports interpretation of text. Art instruction was connected to fluency in creative thinking and to reading skills. Arts programs, as you might expect, had multiple connections to reading, verbal, and math skills, and to creative thinking.

Similar connections are present between arts learning and social and emotional development. Several studies show that children become more engaged in their studies when the arts are integrated into their lessons. Others show that at-risk students often find pathways through the arts to broader academic successes.

The students participating in the Art Enrichment had a great time and were sad when it ended.  Art truly enriched the Happy Elementary Experience.

Toni Waldo

Happy Elementary Principal


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Happy ISD500 NW Third StreetHappy, TX  79042

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