“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
We know that exposing children to art and culture will have a positive and lasting impact on their futures, no matter what paths they choose. Learning how to think creatively and utilize various parts of the brain is empowering and reinforces the 21st-century skills we teach in the classroom. The Suffern Central School District is fortunate to have five, fantastic elementary-level art instructors who, in their own unique ways, encourage our students to think and create from the heart.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve participated in some of these colorful classes. I was amazed by the students’ high degree of confidence in their work and thought I would share my experiences.
- When I was visiting Sloatsburg Elementary School, I watched our kindergarteners cut, paste and construct candy houses for their upcoming Willy Wonka-themed art show. I saw many elements of math and technology woven throughout the curriculum.
- First graders at Montebello Elementary School also incorporate math skills into their designs. They are learning multiplication concepts by creating arrays of windows in their city skyline projects.
- RP Connor students are using stop-motion animation and their hand-drawn illustrations to create their own “movies,” uniquely incorporating new technology into their projects.
- Viola Elementary School students are examining how technology has changed through the years and are hand drawing 3D designs of their favorite technology products.
- At Cherry Lane, students are working with clay and developing their sculpting abilities. It reminded me of building igloos during my time in the military, as they carefully designed and constructed their pieces taking into account the clay’s weight and what they wanted the finished product to look like – no easy task!
Each place I went, the students taught me that it’s ok to make mistakes and start over and that learning new skills can be fun. Thank you to all of our art teachers for enriching our students’ lives through creative projects. By challenging our kids to try new things and teaching them that art is about creation and imagination, we help them on their path to success.