Pilot Launch of Summer Art Studio at Educare Denver
Educare Denver at Clayton Early Learning announces the launch of a Summer Art Studio for preschool students.
With the support of University of Colorado Denver (UCD) graduate student, Heather Eades, Clayton staff have transformed a preschool classroom, traditionally vacant for the summer, into an exciting art space where children can experiment with a variety of mediums. While every Clayton classroom offers open-ended art opportunities throughout each school day, the Summer Art Studio provides a unique experience for preschool students who are developmentally primed for an art-concentrated environment that compels students to try activities and techniques that they may not have participated in until now.
Heather’s intentional, development-based structure for the Summer Art Studio is a result of her rich and diverse experience. A former preschool teacher with a BA in fine arts, Heather understands the many benefits of art integration in an early education classroom. As she entered the practicum stage of the early childhood education master’s program at UCD, Heather was inspired to approach Clayton Early Learning with the idea of a lesson-based Summer Art Studio.
Twice weekly, students experience ‘studio time’ where Heather provides a balance of both teacher and student lead activities. Each week’s lesson plan is focused on a traditional element of art; shape, balance and symmetry, color or rhythm and patterns. In addition to hands-on work exploration of each of these elements, children are also introduced to the classic artists whose work features that particular element.
At the end of the summer, Heather will invite Clayton families, staff and friends to attend an interactive art exhibit that showcases the children’s work and offers fun art activities that engage children and caregivers. In addition, children are building mini portfolios to encompass their work in the Summer Art Studio and can be taken home for ongoing reflection.
As a new project in its pilot year, Clayton Early Learning will complete an end-of-summer evaluation that includes feedback from staff and families to determine whether the program will be available next year or possible expand to include both Clayton schools.