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Interesting discussion on the subject of elementary art clubs!
At a previous school, with the help of my principal, I had written a grant
for an after school activity time for at risk kids. (I had NO clue how
long it takes for grants to be reviewed). In the meantime I started doing
it with a group of sixth graders. I would present different craft type
projects (that I wouldn't be doing in class) and anyone who wanted to could
sign up and attend. Making a long story short -- I spent the better part
of the year coming up with ideas, spending my weekends hunting up the
(economical) materials and paying for it myself, and then being
disappointed because the students (at that age) mainly wanted to have a
place to hang and socialize. The grant was initially turned downed but I
kept doing it for the remainder of the year. The following three years I
I transferred to another school, and in the Spring I was approached by
several fourth grade girls who ASKED about meeting after school. The
previous teachers did not do this. They are now sixth graders and this
will be my last year with them. Instead of planning activities FOR them, I
let them use the time to explore whatever medium they chose. This is the
first year I will be paid for this, and I actually feel guilty because they
have been such a delight to have after school! As a parting gift to the
school, the students painted (on canvas) a "Welcome," banner and we just
presented it to the principal who was overwhelmed.
This has been a positive experience -- getting to know the students outside
of class. I would like to continue it, but I don't wish for it to become
an after school 'babysitting' service. I get to control the numbers, and
thirty plus students sounds like FAR too many for me.
So keep the contribution of ideas coming. I, too, am looking for ways to