Summer program gives children a hands on look at the arts

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – There’s more than 1,100 students enrolled focusing on a plethora of subjects, but one subject is allowing students into a topic not always focused on in schools.

“It’s everything from watercolor painting, portrait drawing, calligraphy, clay, just a wide variety of things. They go as far to expand to the fine arts to acting, speech, and sculpture,” Program Director Susie Green said. “These are the types of things students don’t have easy access to, as they may have when I was in school, where you had a string of art classes that you were in throughout the school year.”

These art classes allow students to focus solely on their craft.

“I think they get overwhelmed with the testing, and the focus on testing, and this is a place for them to create and use the other side of their brains. This does assist to these skills that they need to eventually succeed in standardize testing or whatever they go into,” Green said.

One course featured in the program is “Altered Books”. Instructor Jim Jacobmeyer walks students through creating a six sided accordion book, filled with quotes and images allowing their imagination to come to life.

7th grader Laura Hubbs is spending her session created a book of her own with a food theme.

“My main one is ‘I won’t be impressed with technology until I can download food’,” she said.

She’s taking the course to spend the summer focusing on her favorite crafts.

“I think the arts are an important part of student’s education and integrating the arts is important,” he said. “Creativity is defined very personally, we all think of it differently in different ways so each one of these projects will be a reflection of these students own identity and own definition.”

The students in the altered books class will present and display their work at the Cedar Rapids Public Library at the end of August. Giving them a chance to show the public how the arts is aiding in their mental development.