When you visit the art classroom at Dana Gray School, the first thing you notice is a smiling Art Resource person, Norma Trejo, who clearly enjoys her work. Norma helps provide a weekly art experience for all the students at this school. As a mother of a four-year old and an avid soccer player who plays on a county traveling team, Norma has a bubbly energy that translates into enthusiasm and support for the students
The challenge of preparing art experiences for more than four hundred students each week can be a daunting task. Each project needs to fit into a class period of 40 – 45 minutes and stay within a very modest budget. Community support from donations and volunteers has been essential.
Offering weekly art experiences to all the students is being made possible by a generous donation to Flockworks, a local non-profit that has supported building community through the arts for more than ten years and the support of Safe Passage Family Resource Center. The funds support time and work needed to provide the art activities to the students. “This project has been nothing but positive for the school," said Rick Kale, Principal for Dana Gray Elementary. "The art projects create a generosity of spirit that is palpable. The students are excited and engaged during their Art Studio time and it carries over into their classrooms."
Students have recently explored making pop-up cards using the principles of origami (folding paper) and kirigami (cutting paper). They are building on this three-dimensional experience in their latest project by creating a two-dimensional base utilizing a weaving of paper and building three-dimensional structures by folding, twisting, fringing, spiraling, and curling paper strips. We see lots of focus, fun, and enthusiasm for this project. This is one of the great rewards of offering art each week to the students at Dana Gray School. “The art program is such a great gift to our school,” offered a teacher.