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We train parents, grandparents, and friends who want to volunteer to teach four comprehensive art education lessons in their children’s classrooms each year.
The theme for the 2018-2019 school year was Full STEAM Ahead: Fusing ART with Math and Science. Studying art reveals the underlying identity of cultures across the world. Magnify children’s creativity by guiding them to explore the intersection where science, technology and math meet ART! Learning that naturally reflects the world it teaches allows students to apply knowledge from a reality-based perspective. Using art to help students recognize principles of math and science leads to a better understanding of all subjects. Learn how to use various media, scientific observation, and creativity to teach students to expand their knowledge of the world around them, and to articulate their ingenuity!
No teaching or art experience is necessary to participate in Art in the School’s volunteer program. Volunteers from all walks of life (typically an elementary student’s parent or grandparent) gain permission from their child’s teacher to participate in the program and are scheduled time in the classroom to present the lessons. At most schools, parent-teacher organizations pay the membership fees and/or sponsor specific fundraisers to support the arts at their school.
Thousands of New Mexico’s children have benefited from the efforts of hundreds of dedicated Art in the School volunteers since 1985. Now the first generation to benefit is coming back to teach their children:
On the WORKSHOPS
“I love this program and hope it continues to grow!”
“They make it easy to go into school and do a lesson.”
“I was very impressed with the quality of speakers!”
On How IT IMPACTED OTHER ASPECTS OF THEIR LIFE
“It has rejuvenated my desire to teach art.”
“I’ve thought more seriously about becoming an art teacher.”
“I have more respect and love for Arts and Artists and their work.”
On DISCUSSING ART WITH CHILDREN
“Open-ended questioning helped all the kids feel safe to share their opinion and that it matters!” “They were very engaged and made good comments.”
“The children enjoy looking at and sharing their ideas about the art.” “Artists become real people.”
On ART MAKING WITH KIDS
“These kids are starved for more art making! So glad this program exists!”
“They were excited, intrigued and engaged.”
“The children loved the process of art making and utilizing various media.”
How Volunteers Are Prepared
Volunteers attend Art in the School’s informative training workshops series, which prepares them to teach four lessons in the classroom (see schedule of training workshops, below). At each workshop, they first enjoy a background lecture by an artist, art historian or other expert to acquaint them with the lesson’s topic. Next they practice how to discuss art images associated with the lesson with children and finally they learn hands-on art making skills related to the lesson. An experienced art educator leads the detailed trainings so that volunteers can create the art themselves and learn how to best teach the children. Art making activities for multiple ages and developmental levels are presented so the lessons can be used with children as young as kindergarten through middle school. The volunteers receive comprehensive lesson guides, art images, and handouts with extension activity ideas.
Teachers welcome Art in the School volunteers into their classrooms because the activities support and enrich the Core Curriculum. Because many elementary schools only have an art teacher every other year with limited time to spend with students, Art in the School helps supplement visual arts learning.
Volunteers gain a great deal of personal enrichment from the stimulating trainings and volunteer experience. Many have been inspired to pursue the arts and additional teaching opportunities as a result of their Art in the School experience.
“[The children] loved the lessons in all aspects and would approach me around the school and talk art.”
“Enjoyed art, sometimes couldn’t stop talking about the subject which was a good thing!” “Always so fun to see how enthusiastic they are!”
For New Volunteers: Frequently Asked Questions
Who can volunteer for Art in the School?
Albuquerque Pubic Schools have an art teacher in the elementary schools every other year. If you child’s school has an art teacher this year, please check to make sure that your volunteer efforts are still welcomed. Some schools follow a very structured curriculum which leaves little or no time for additional enrichment activities. If so, you might want to consider teaching the program immediately after the school day. The Art in the School program would make a wonderful after school art program.
I’ve never taught before and have no art background. Can I still volunteer?
I’d like to volunteer! What do I do next?
Once you have the school’s permission and support, fill out a membership form – either online or a paper form and mail it to us. The form can be downloaded below – see Volunteer Resources.
Who pays membership fees?
Are there scholarships available?
Why is there a membership fee?
How many people must volunteer at a school?
It is very helpful to have another parent to partner with in the classroom. Some volunteers teach two different grades if they have more than one child at a school, or teach multiple classes – it all depends on their availability, and if the teachers are able to allow time in the classroom.
How much time does it take?
What do we teach?
When will I go into the classroom and how often?
Where do I get art supplies?
I have more questions.
Questions? Write to us:
Many thanks for generous support from Vintage Albuquerque and the City of Albuquerque Urban Enhancement Trust Fund.
Art in the School
P.O. Box 3416
Albuquerque, NM 87190-3416