Vista Academy is a first year intensive pathways school in the far northeast region of Denver. It is a 6th-12th grade school offering vocational programs as well as credit recovery and GED programs for under-credited high school students. It is a wonderful and creative environment to work in.
I wanted to create my service project around something I was passionate about as well as incorporate the goals of our program. I attended the National Art Education Association National Conference in March to do research on how I could develop successful approaches to the implementation of my art and community based service projects. After the conference I realized my focus needed to be how I could use art to serve the specific needs of Vista Academy’s community. With some student and staff input/collaboration, I decided to pursue an afterschool art club for the high school students and a free recycled art workshop that would be open to all Vista students and their families.
I am happy to say that the art club was successful with 15-20 students attending after school every week to work on various projects. The high school does not have visual art in their curriculum, as of yet, and expressed the desire for a second meeting for the club every week. We now meet Mondays and Tuesdays after school and the positive feedback from students and parents has helped bring awareness to the importance of visual arts on a student’s emotional and academic success.
The final week of the Student-Parent Recycled Art Workshop is this Monday and I am looking forward to celebrating the completed products the families made together. I had an amazing experience spending time and creating with the two families that participated for the full five-week workshop!
We also just completed the first Student Art Silent Art Auction at the Carnival Fundraiser. We asked the students to donate a piece of art of their choice for the auction. We had over 30 submissions and all proceeds went to Vista’s Service Learning Project for next year. It has been a wonderful year!