Students in South Prairie Elementary’s third grade dual language classroom in January have been learning about equity and fostering productive conversations with people who may have different viewpoints than their own. With the support of our Artist in Residence, Leeauna Perry from Bay City Arts Center, the students in Mr. Chun-Sajqui’s class made equality posters featuring civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. Half of the poster was completed in English and the other half in Spanish. Students celebrated the idea that all different backgrounds, no matter the race or religion. deserve equal rights.
The Artist-in-Residence program has been supported by a variety of grants, receiving an initial grant from Trust Management Services, and received additional grants from the Autzen Foundation and Oregon Arts Commission’s Arts Builds Communities to continue the project into next school year. The program is a supplemental art education program partnership that began in September 2019 between the Bay City Arts Center and local Tillamook School District #9 to provide supplemental art education within the school district. “We are providing daily contracted art education within the regular school day to 2nd and 3rd grade students at South Prairie Elementary School,” explains Leeauna Perry. She continued, “The art is structured to supplement the core subjects of math, science, humanities and social studies. Teachers provide a focus area of study each week and then I create custom art projects for each class individually. This has been a blossoming partnership that is proving critical to the development and educational advancement of our students.”
The quote on the artwork is by Dr. Martin Luther King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”