Agua Caliente Elementary Teacher is awarded CommunityShare Artist Residency Grant

logo styalized people in a circleMs. Betsey Robinson, a 2nd Grade Teacher at Agua Caliente Elementary School, was awarded a $1,000 Artist Residency Grant from CommunityShare, a locally-based online network connecting the skills and experiences of individuals, community leaders, organizations and businesses, with the goals and needs of educators. 

With the grant, the three second grade classes (70 students total) at ACES will participate in Living River of Words, a STEAM project integrating science, art and poetry into the study of watersheds and wetland habitats. Through a series of workshops, students conduct field research at Agua Caliente Park, then work with a water color artist and a poet to create visual and written artistic expressions of their experience.

The grant funds will enable visiting artists Marty Plevel to provide instruction in still life,  and landscape watercolor composition over four sessions (18 hours total) as students illustrate their field work. In addition, poet Candace Greenberg will use visual and sensory imagery exercises to help students build vocabulary relating to their field studies.  Over the course of two sessions (6 hours total) students will create and publish poetry based on their experience.

In her grant proposal, Ms. Robinson highlighted the benefit of this unique program to students, teachers, school and community. "Working with a visiting artist and poet allows the second grade team to provide a richness of experience and professional specialization beyond our own expertise. This multisensory, multidisciplinary approach will result in a deeper understanding of our unique environment, instilling a growing responsibility in students of themselves as environmental stewards of their school, their community and their world. The resulting artwork and poetry will be submitted to the Living River of Words Art and Poetry Contest sponsored by Pima County, providing an opportunity for students to share what they have learned and created with the greater Tucson community."

Congratulations Ms. Robinson and the ACES second grade students and teachers on this wonderful grant award. Thank you also to Mr. Josh Schachter, and the amazing team at CommunityShare who are helping to bring new  experiences and opportunities into our local classrooms.

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