When I taught at an elementary with a small mixed ESL population (Ukranian,
Hispanic and ?...maybe 20 or so kids...) I wrote a small grant for art
supplies and prints just for these kids. We met once a week at a special
time and we looked at one work of art at a time that specifically showed
children, or families working or playing, etc...
We talked (as best we could) with each other informally about the kids and
their lives, and in what ways we were the same or different. One project we
ended up making was a life size (paper, assemblage) native costume for each
child. They were so proud to show the rest of the school their creations and
why they were important to them. The informal talking and creating time with
me was so nice and much less stressful for them. Of course, the planning
period given up was well worth it!!! Their parents were so proud, and VERY
SUPPORTIVE of the arts.
As a matter of fact, I have found that to be the rule rather than the
exception...and I wish our "natural born citizens" were as whole-heartedly
supportive of art in the lives of their children. We press on!