As AmeriCorps members at Smiley Middle School this year, Julia and I decided to offer an after school art club for those interested in a fun, casual art program. Art Club kicked off in late October and has drawn in students from all grades, but especially sixth grade students, as they are unable to take art as an elective this year.
The club has worked on many projects including drawing 3-D hand prints, creating cards for an elementary school in New Jersey, designing Kandinsky inspired trees, painting a colorful Smiley Middle School sign to brighten the hallway, and coloring 3D shapes and mandalas. Students are currently working on a Smiley Middle School paw print mural inspired by Andy Warhol and the school’s mascot, the Cougar. In addition, Art Club members helped with creating decorations for Smiley’s Halloween Extravaganza, the Snow Ball Dance, and the Valentine’s Dance.
Our students are given a chance to express themselves and enjoy school in a nonacademic setting in Art Club. It has been great getting to know the students on a personal level during the club. Each week, our sign-in includes a fun question that ranges from, “What’s your favorite holiday?” to “Where would you travel tomorrow if you had the chance?” This is a great opportunity to learn a fun fact, but also to open the door to new conversations.
I love arts and crafts and wanted to pass that passion along to the students. Little did I know, I would be the one so inspired and thankful to work with and engage with these wonderful students during Art Club!