Walnut Elementary School students will benefit from a $2,000 grant funded this month by the Target Corporation. The grant program is designed to support programs that help schools bring more arts and culture into classrooms.
Two years ago, parent Wendy Wu volunteered to teach a few art lessons in her son’s second grade class. Principal Janet Green was so impressed with the lessons and artwork the students produced that she asked if Mrs. Wu would consider teaching a series of standards-based art lessons to upper grade students.
She agreed and the Academic Art program at Walnut Elementary began.
Lessons corresponded to the social studies and
science curriculum, and beautiful artwork adorned the walls of the
office and hallways.
Last spring, Mrs. Green applied for Target’s
Arts and Culture in Schools grant.
The school received the notice of approval on August 19.
This year, the education grant will enable the school to expand the unique art program to include ALL students in grades K-5.
“Walnut Elementary believes strongly in developing the whole child. As a Title I school, some of our students do not take extracurricular visual and performing arts lessons. Therefore, we have tried to expand these opportunities for them in academic art and music during the school day. With the focus on the new Common Core State Standards, art and music are integral to the development of student creativity,” said Principal Janet Green.
“I enjoy all the lessons that the students do in class,” said art teacher Wendy Wu who likes introducing new creative ideas to the children.
Wu said although it’s hard to choose a favorite art project from last year, it would be the Seahorse lesson.
“Watercolor has always been one of my favorite mediums,” she said.
The grant is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to build strong, safe and healthy communities across the country. These efforts include Target’s long history of giving 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals more than $4 million every week. As part of this commitment, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015 to help kids learn, schools teach and parents and caring adults engage.
“At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target. “That’s why we are proud to partner with Walnut Elementary School as we work to strengthen communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members.”