Art club teaming up on projects with local 4-H

By: Sommer Danielsen

Few opportunities exist for elementary students to explore different art mediums outside of their brief art classes during the school week, but with the help of the nation’s largest youth development organization, 4-H, the CFHS art club has provided these children with opportunities to pursue creative endeavors with more alacrity than ever before.

This is the first year the art club has been connected with 4-H, an organization that spans the whole nation, connecting six million students, and has 60 million alumni. Through this system, elementary through high school age students are paired with professionals and volunteers who create hands-on learning environments centering on many different subjects.

In this case, the students in art club have donated their time to teach younger students. With the help of science teacher Debbie Paulsen and art teacher Lisa Klenske, members of the art club have given their time after school teaching the kids in 4-H about different forms and techniques of art. However, this instruction is equally met with freedom for students to pursue their own creative endeavors. After students learn about specific techniques, they are encouraged to use them in any way they choose.

So far this year, students from the art club have met with 4-H kids three times. Lessons this year include techniques such as pointillism and watercolor and acrylic paints.  Current art club member and senior Amme Redington said she enjoys working with 4-H kids and seeing their progress. “I really like getting to see them work together. It’s cool to see their creativity bloom,” and fellow member senior Jordyn Kuehl echoed Redington. “It’s so cute to watch the kids work. Every one of them has different styles and artistic abilities.”

Despite slashed funding of art programs in recent years, art proves to be an essential part of student’s education. National studies have shown links between involvement in arts and high standardized test scores. In addition to this, independent studies have shown a correlation between involvement in arts and higher SAT scores. Linking students potential success to involvement in arts magnifies the importance of programs such as 4-H for children early on in school.

Many current members of the art club wish to continue working with 4-H kids in the future, and they expressed hope that strengthening this collaboration between 4-H students and high school artists will reveal to young students the satisfaction that lies within creative exploration and equip them with skills to craft future success.

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