Lane Arts Council’s Creative Link is back in action!
After an abrupt and unplanned hiatus due to the COVID-19 crisis, two educators from Prairie Mountain School in the Bethel School District have reinstated our Creative Link program in their virtual classrooms. These educators are now using our dynamic arts curriculum to support the distance-learning experience for their students.
With schools closed and all learning now remote, student participation has dropped substantially here in Lane County and nationwide. Students are struggling. Like most educators, Brittany Delay and Kourtney Shreve are not only worried about student attendance, but whether students will be able to connect with their learning in this new virtual format. Both teachers saw the appeal in bringing teaching artist Amy Albrecht and Creative Link back into their classrooms to boost excitement and engagement.
Now, Albrecht is dropping in to attend weekly Zoom sessions with Delay and her 6th grade English language arts class to implement Creative Link curriculum. Since the return of Creative Link, Delay has seen higher attendance and participation during virtual learning. After a recent Creative Link session, Delay shared, “We have a big class today, which is exciting, and I’m pretty sure it’s because Ms. Albrecht is with us.” Using Creative Link curriculum, Albrecht has led classes in art projects based on students’ reading of the novel The One and Only Ivan. Right now, students are learning to express an opinion through protest art.
For Shreve, whose Life Skills students are each on a unique learning path, Creative Link video tutorials and art packets are designed to allow students to work at their own pace and on their own time. For now, students will be practicing cartoon and realistic pencil drawing, something that had appealed to many students during in-person learning earlier this year. Both Shreve and students’ adult mentors are excited to use Creative Link as a tool for teaching their students something new during these unprecedented times.
Creative Link is intentionally building skills that students can continue to practice through the summer months while they are out of school. No one knows what schools or learning will look like this fall. As shown through Creative Link, Lane Arts Council will remain committed to supporting students and educators through arts education to spark excitement and deepen learning.