Last April, the Traverse City Area Public Schools school board voted to pare down the K-2 art curriculum in order to implement the World Language program. (Read the story here.) This fall, TCAPS is upping arts access to students – albeit after school – by partnering its Learning Enrichment and Athletic Program, aka LEAP, with local business KidzArt. Together, they'll offer a new after-school, fee-based art program throughout the district.
TCAPS Director of Communications, Marketing, and Volunteer Services Alison Arnold says the new offering is the result of ongoing requests from parents for after-school art programs.
“This enrichment program has emanated from many years of parents asking for after-school art programs for their children,” Arnold says. “In years past, some schools received a 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant that funded many wonderful enrichment offerings after school and, over time, grants were less and less available. Yet, parent interest in keeping their child safe, at school, and engaged in arts enrichment offerings has remained. KidzArt fills a gap by providing a fee-based extracurricular opportunity (like sports) for our students.”
KidsArt Executive Director Kate Daggett, who also offers classes to kids and adults in her art studio in downtown Traverse City, says, “KidzArt is thrilled to finally be offered as an after-school program at all 14 elementary schools and both East and West Middle schools in TCAPS. When I first took over KidzArt in 2010, there were four KidzArt after-school programs. This school year, we will be hosting 24 after-school programs in the greater Grand Traverse area.”
Goals of the program include producing original art, enhancing drawing skills, as well as learning in a non-competitive environment, building self-confidence and learning to think creatively and problem solve. Classes are one day per week for one hour. Cost is $140 for the six-week session. To register online, go to www.tcaps.net/LEAP.