I was at McPolin Elementary School volunteering in a first grade classroom. A young boy was at the table with me. It was his first hour of his very first day. He was a brand new student; he didn’t speak English.
He was quietly crying at his seat; tears rolled down his cheeks, his head down and shoulders bent. My heart sank as I imagined my own child in this situation.
Later that very same day, I was sitting with the same class and now volunteering in their Elementary Visual Art lesson – also known as EVA and is key PCEF program because long ago the state legislature cut elementary art from the education budget. It seems crazy – how can an elementary student not have art?
The teacher was talking to students about the artist they were studying that day – Gaudi. A Spanish artist. One of Gaudi’s family members had the same name as the young boy who was crying earlier in the morning. Jorge the teachers says and all the young students in art start smiling. Jorge they all said. We have a Jorge in our class.
They started embracing the young, new boy. Literally giving him high-fives and pats on the back. As the kids moved from the rug to their tables – to work on the own architectural masterpieces – every child had a smile ear to ear. Including Jorge.
This boy, this class, this art teacher, this program…they made a child feel like he belonged, like he was part of the team, like he could be the next Gaudi.
These moments of creativity, teamwork, curiosity, and humanity, are happening every day in our classrooms and schools. EVA is just one example of the power of one PCEF grant. – Abby McNulty
Thank you to Zions Bank for their generous support of EVA
Thank you to the Kimball Art Center for providing the excellent curriculum