Schack Art Center starts kids’ art kits program
Photo courtesy Schack Art Center
The Schack's board vice president Jennifer MacLean helps package 500 art supply kits as part of the Schack Sparks program.
EVERETT — With the help of 15 volunteers and multiple staff members, the Schack Art Center recently launched an art education program for kids.
The Schack Sparks program delivers art kits to kids at elementary schools in Snohomish County, and then offers virtual programs to follow that engage both the kids and their families. The first Schack Sparks kits went to Hawthorne Elementary earlier this month.
It uses art education as a way to engage social and emotional learning in kids.
Raedle Alburn, the Schack’s Education Director, said that this program is especially important during these times of hybrid and remote learning.
“Art is a natural way to engage social and emotional learning … and pairs naturally with mindfulness,” Alburn said. “These types of learning are especially difficult to engage in kids during remote learning. Programs like these also offer kids an opportunity to get away from screens and do something tactile.”
Alburn said that there is a great need for art education in this community as art programs are being cut in schools. The Schack aims to change that by bringing high-quality art education to kids who might not get it.
The lessons are centered around a theme, focusing on imaginative creatures for the pilot program. The initial kits include art supplies such as pencils, pipe cleaners and air-dry clay.
Schack volunteers worked to assemble and deliver the art kits to the elementary school. The existing delivery program at the elementary school was then used to get the kits to the children in the program.
The program is being funded by The Matthew Foundation and relies heavily on volunteer efforts, but through further funding, founders of the program at the Schack hope to make the program sustainable and bring it to even more schools. The program is one of the honorees of the annual H’Arts Benefit Auction happening Feb. 27. With funding from the auction, the program should be able to expand its reach and bring its art programs to even more schools in the community.
Right now, the Schack Art Center is also offering a social and emotional learning workshop for teachers. The program educates teachers on how to take care of themselves, and offers tips on how they bring this social and emotional learning into their classrooms. More info can be found on the Schack’s website, www.schack.org
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