When I found Art In Action I was so impressed. I personally love art and am sad that art is no longer in our schools. Then I found Art In Action and volunteered to help their organization. They were so warm and friendly and organized. Their halls were lined with just amazing art and the programs they put together were amazing. Not only good, but really off the shelf so that students can get great art education and the volunteers and teachers work is made easier.
I head up the volunteers for our kid's elementary school class art curriculum. I teach and assist.
We all love the well- thought out lessons and the ready-assembled art materials and kits to teach the lessons. Lessons are deeply rooted in the Masters and teach the kids real art as well as creative thinking.
I am working with the Art in Action board as a part of the Non-profit Leadership Board program at The Wharton School of Business for the past 9 months. I have been very impressed with the passion the Board Members possess when it comes to Art and its impact on children. I walk away very excited after every board meeting.
I am also very impressed with how organized and strategic the Board of Directors for Art in Action are. They have a clear mission, strategic plan and are marching on their way to meeting the goals of the non-profit organization. I wish them the very best in their endeavor.
I started out as an Art in Action docent, then a school coordinator and finally a Board member of Art in Action. I have seen the power that the wonderful art history lessons and art instructions have had in the classroom and in the lives of my own children. As school budgets become tight, and art programs are reduced, programs like Art in Action can keep vital art instruction alive in the schools. I happen to have two very creative, artistic daughters, and Art in Action opened the world of art history for them...a world that they continued to pursue in college.
California Schools provide a completely barebones curriculum not including art education. When I found that Art in Action provides an excellent and appropriate art education in the classroom I hastened to become involved. Art in Action trains volunteers to use their highly appropriate and professional materials to open the world of possibility through understanding art. These classes are grade level appropriate and are a hands- on experience as well as having an intellectual component. The children are completely engaged and a vitality is obvious in the classrooms. The non-profit Art in Action not only provides this essential experience for children, but it raises the funds necessary to provide this experience. Art in Action currently reaches 27,000 students and is growing each year.
I joined Art in Action as a board advisor through Stanford Graduate School of Business' Board Fellows program in 2009. I have found the team to be as professional and development-oriented as they are warm and passionate. In my work in business line development and competitive landscape assessment, I found Judy Sleeth, Torben Gronning and Elizabeth Grover to be driven by a relentless desire to expand, grow, and learn as an organization-- just the values that they instill in children through their product.
Art in Action's mission is a critical one, and one with which I have a deep personal connection. From an early age, art has been an important part of my identity. Early on, art was a stage for bonding with my parents, but developed into a source of harmony and balance in my life. While my path has woven through cross-country college treks, international travel, a stint on Wall Street and now time in graduate school, art has been a constant. As my journey shaped my identity, art provided me the chance to be an active participant in this process, shaping my own values and creativity through projects and passions. I have no doubt that I would not be who I am today without art, and more importantly without the people in my life (teachers, parents, classmates) that pushed me to carry art with me as a companion throughout my journey.
Art in Action plays precisely this role in young students' lives. It sparks a fire that will burn quietly for some, and brilliantly for others, but will no doubt shape the way that the next generation of leaders views and interacts with the world. Art in Action's mission and it's efforts are a gift that they give to children, as well as to our society (both the local community and world at large). I am thankful to have been connected early on with those who sparked my love of art, and even more thankful to have found such a professional and passionate group of people at Art in Action to pass the torch to the next generation.
My students and I love love love this program! Truly, what an amazing gift this has been to our little community! I received the Art in Action grant this year, which means access to online lessons with interactive videos as well as a box of supplies. The program includes artists from around the world in a yearlong theme of "Perspectives in Art." I was initially intimidated by the technology component, but have found it to be very user friendly and an incredibly useful teaching tool. Never have I felt so competent in incorporating technology into my curriculum. My class has studied Van Gogh, Ghirlandaio, and Miro, and African textiles to name a few. The children are so engaged and inspired to express themselves with Art in Action.
I worked as a volunteer docent for the Art in Action program as my children were attending the local public elementary school over the past 12 years. The design of the art program was age appropriate, provided a great variety of projects for the children, was easy to teach to the students and offered a wonderful opportunity for the children to engage in a truly creative outlet. This is an art program where it is usually funded by the local PTA or Parent Club. It has been a terrific addition to the students curriculum in an area where art is always the first to be eliminated by the members of the school board.
I have taught Art in Action at my children's school for six years. The curriuculum is so easy to use, whether using the book or online lessons. Anyone can teach it.
I am also an artist. I am teaching kids art concepts I didn't learn until college! Why not have a working art vocabulary and be able to execute concepts early?
How have my kids have benefited? My kids can express themselves visually. They have been taught art as part of school since Kindergarten and it continues. They can complete book reports and do projects with skill.
Our society is very visual. Art and design permeate our lives and we aren't even aware of it sometimes. Having the art history component as part of the lessons brings an awareness of how to see. The kids learn to look at art and talk about their perceptions, sometimes it is different than the child next to them. It opens a discussion and gets them thinking.
My favorite part of teaching Art in Action is watching the kids grow over the years.