Smithfield is one of 15 communities that had competed for grant funding for reading and classroom innovation projects, and the Foundation announced last Friday that both Winsor and Old County Road Elementary would receive funding for visual arts projects. Winsor will also host a reading program through an additional “spark grant.”
At Winsor Elementary and Old County Elementary, Lindsay Burrows, art teacher, will direct students through a project that will combine both digital and visual arts. Each student in these classes, Burrows explained, will have the opportunity to talk about an influential person in their life and tell their story through handmade artwork, photography, a written story and a digital presentation.
“The visual arts world is moving more and more in the technology direction,” she said, explaining that the grant includes the purchase of a projector, iMovie software and speaker equipment that will allow students to include their subjects’ voices as they tell their story.
Burrows said it’s not often that art teachers are able to incorporate technology into their classrooms, and she’s thrilled to offer this opportunity to her students. Once their projects are completed, she explained, their work will be displayed at a school art show in June. The project setup will allow Burrows’ students to show how they pieced their work together.
“The ideas that start the process are really inspiring and exciting, and I think that’s really important to show other people,” she said.
Julia Tanski, a 3rd-grade teacher at the school, announced that Winsor students would be creating and publishing their own books to share with the community after working with Lucinda Landon, a mystery author, who will visit the school.
More than 200 students are said to benefit from the program, according to a news release from the Foundation, and 500 books will be donated to the school’s library.
Tanksi told The Breeze & Observer that as soon as the materials come in over the next few weeks, “We’re ready to jump right in.”
Students will work on their stories on Google Chromebooks while using Google Classroom, she explained, and once their work is complete, the 3rd-graders will present their book to younger students at the library.
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