During the 2019-20 academic school year, the Oregon Coast Council of the Arts (OCCA) provided four-week art learning sessions for the 21st Century After School Program held at Sam Case Elementary in Newport. The 21st Century Program, a federal initiative, serves homeless and at-risk youth. During the fall and winter, Sara Siggelkow, OCCA’s Arts Learning Coordinator, and her team of volunteer class assistants brought engaging and hands-on art lessons to the 30-35 students who attend the classes on early-release Wednesdays. These efforts have been funded through a generous grant from US Bank.
Come COVID-19, April and distance-learning developments, OCCA decided to get creative and put together “Art Kits” for distribution to the 21st Century students. Siggelkow and Janet Webster, chair of the VAC Youth Arts Advisory Board, put together a program that is having the art kits delivered once a week for four weeks with the theme of “maps.” Other volunteers, including Veronica Lundell and Cathey Briggs, have been helping to assemble the art kits prior to delivery.
Each week there are new book pages delivered, along with a creative challenge and the materials needed to complete the challenge. All of the materials are for the kids to keep. The kits are being delivered to each of the 31 students houses by McKenzie Purdom of the 21st Century program. Each week the kits have the following pages: a tab, a colorful page, a notebook page, four sheets of drawing/sketching paper and pages specific to each week’s challenge. The book itself is made from a recycled file folder and brads the kids created during their first week.
Week one was about pattern — repeating lines — and the parts of a map: key, scale, boarder. The challenge-specific materials were three sheets of graph paper and four colored pencils. The challenge was to draw eight repeating patterns, draw a map of where you live, make a key using color and pattern to label the items, measure the distance between three items on the map using their own unit of measure and make a border for the map.
Week two is about texture, both actual and implied, and texture plates. The challenge-specific items are two pages of lightweight paper, five crayon pieces and two pieces of foam to make texture plates.
The challenge is to make rubbings of four different items, experimenting with single and multiple colors; make a map of a favorite place, using texture to represent the different areas of the map and include a key.
Week three will be about shape, and the challenge will be to draw a map of the student’s family.
Week four will combine all of the skills to make a treasure map. Plus, there will be pieces of actual maps and other papers to collage on the book cover.
Purdom said the kids are very excited about the art kits and their art challenges. The next art challenge will be to have the kids take photos of their works and email them back to OCCA.