Whittier Teachers Receive $3,000 Grant to Create Art Enrichment Center

Kelly Myrlie, Annie Selken, and Ann Molstad

The Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation awarded a Public School Proud Grant to Kelly Myrlie and Annie Selken at Whittier Middle School. The two teachers received $3,000 for their proposal, “Creativity is Just Intelligence Having Fun.” They will use the funds to create an art enrichment center in the classroom, benefitting 600 students. In the application, they wrote, “We want to provide students with a variety of art media from fiber, plastic, painting, clay, jewelry making, paper arts, etc.  Students could access the activities when they have finished classwork or during our daily enrichment time.

Most of the supplies we are asking for is equipment that can be reused, ensuing future classes will have similar opportunities. We have taught for a while, and in the last five years, we have noticed that our students are losing fine motor skills, creative thinking skills, and confidence in their ability to create art.  This activity station would give students the chance to try something new without the pressure of it being a graded assignment. Students that have an aptitude for art would have extra time during the day when they could pursue their own interests and discover a new art form they have not tried.

We also feel that this art station will give students art therapy time that they need based on the stress they experienced during the pandemic. Most of the activities we will be offering are things that encourage artist growth and experimentation which enhances all the standards being taught in the Sioux Falls School District.”

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