San Luis, AZ (November 7, 2018) – The Arizona Western College Art Curiosity and Secrets (ACAS) club is collaborating with the Gadsden Elementary School District to tutor young students as part of a new innovative art program.
The Gadsden District has developed an after-school Visual Arts Academy for first- through eighth-grade students that uses art projects to strengthen science instruction. Students from the San Luis Learning Center ACAS club were specifically recruited to help teach fifth- and sixth-grade students at Ed Pastor Elementary School alongside Gadsden District art teachers.
“ACAS students have advanced art skills and an in-depth understanding of art history, and they were looking for opportunities to engage younger children in discovery of their creativity, passion and expression,” said Gadsden District grant writer Antonio Garcia on the partnership with the ACAS club.
“The Visual Arts Academy provides students districtwide with healthy, well-rounded, creative thinking environments. This fosters student engagement and is conducive to establishing a positive school culture where all children feel safe, confident, and motivated to learn.”
Elementary students use the art skills they learn in the program to create Mobile Educational Galleries that serve as prototypes for specific grade level science models (i.e. Ecosystems: Life Sciences, Volcanoes, Water Weather Cycle, Butterfly Lifecycle; Geography; etc.) These models and classroom manipulatives are integrated into the regular science curriculum that serves all students.
AWC Professor of Fine Arts Jules Floss added that this program is a valuable asset for elementary students in areas of critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving skills.
“The Visual Arts Academy will aid the development of visual communication, demonstrate that art is a part of everyday life, and excite students to pursue a wide variety of career opportunities in art,” said Floss.
ACAS students teach as part of the program’s introductory course, delivering the application of line, shape, form, color, texture, space and value in two- and three-dimensional design through practice.
Jose Fimbres, an active member of ACAS for the past four years, has been instrumental in helping this project come to life. Fimbres has served as club treasurer and most recently as club vice president.
“There are a lot of talented artists in the community, but there is not really a place where young minds can improve in their artistic skills until they get to high school. So, a program like this in the City of San Luis is certainly a great idea and an excellent addition. It will help kids learn and explore their skills at a young age.”
This partnership also aligns with the accessibility goals of AWC’s Strategic Plan, which include engaging students at an early age and fostering educational success for a diverse student population.
Professor of Fine Arts
Arizona Western College