BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Back on Feb. 27, Springfield Plains Elementary School hosted “From the HeART,” an art show featuring the school’s fourth-grade students that also acted as a benefit for the Haven Children’s Art Therapy Program.
Springfield Plains Art Educator Ryanne Shiner deemed the showcase a success.
“Last year, the fourth-grade teachers and I collaborated to come up with an Academic Service Learning project that allowed students to connect multiple art forms (visual art and poetry) to serving others in the community,” said Shiner. “After success with our project last year, the fourth-grade students were able to extend the art show to the entire school to create a charitable event including their school community. Fourth graders hosted the show and read poetry at the event while all students and families came to enjoy the art.”
Giving back to Haven was the proverbial icing on the cake.
“Fourth-grade students created a work of art inspired by the most important parts of their life,” explained Shiner. “While creating their work, students reflected on how their art may look different as a child at Haven. Students had multiple experiences in their classroom and the art room using different art forms to express and empower themselves. Being able to provide tools to other children to access individuality and expression is something our fourth graders were excited to share.”
Shiner also noted that seeing the students engaged in creating art was very inspiring.
“Art is essential to life,” Shiner said. “Creativity, problem solving, determination, innovation, etcetera, are all skills that can be sharpened by practicing the visual and performing arts. Art is an opportunity for children to ignite passions, connect across disciplines, and make learning more meaningful. Behind every video game are many designers and concept artists. Musicians curate our everyday soundtrack. Most ‘ordinary’ objects were thoughtfully created by engineers and designers. Our students interact with art almost constantly.
“Incorporating the arts into education helps children to access creative thinking skills and notice the possibilities in their world providing endless opportunity.”