‘School Smarts’ brings students and artists together for an evening of fun, entertainment

Blossoming artists hard at work on their creations at Hamilton K-8 School in Anza Feb. 15. Diane Seiker photo
Blossoming artists hard at work on their creations at Hamilton K-8 School in Anza Feb. 15. Diane Seiker photo

Hamilton K-8 School teamed up with Anza Valley Artists to present a very special evening for both children and parents Wednesday, Feb. 15. Combined with a presentation from the California State PTA “School Smarts” Coordinator Tiffany Parry, the educational event, held from 4:30-6 p.m., was a huge success with the multi-purpose room filled to capacity.

Several members of the Anza Valley Artists were on hand to display their various works as inspiration for the children. Artist Dan Hare led the participants in a drawing lesson, using an overhead projector and sample cartoon handouts. The results were stunning, as he instructed attendees, step-by-step, to create identical characters. Everyone was proud of their work.

There were oil and acrylic paintings, gourd and rock art, pencil drawings and more on display as examples for the children to see. The artists themselves mingled with the group, encouraging their creativity. AVA President Rosie Grindle, Vice President Dan Hare, members Manny Zinwiga, Julie Byrd and Merris Kratz walked among the budding artists, complementing each one and answering questions. Special thanks to this group, as they mobilized on short notice and created the presentation.

The festive atmosphere was further encouraged by delicious food. Chili, spaghetti, cornbread, desserts and homemade pizza were provided and served up by PTSA members Sandra Barron and Irene Sallons. Reading Specialist Stephanie Edwards also assisted.

Parent Liaison Catalina Lopez emceed the event. After the art lesson, she ushered the children out of the room for supervised play and introduced California State PTA School Smarts Coordinator Tiffany Parry. For the parents, Parry outlined the School Smarts Parent Engagement model, an exciting, award winning, research-based program to assist parents in helping their children succeed in school.

Benefits of the School Smarts program include increased knowledge on how to support your child in school, a better understanding of the California K-12 education system, greater confidence in effectively communicating with other parents and school staff and information on how to be involved in decision making and taking part in leadership roles.

The School Smarts plan is designed for parents and presented in a Parent Academy. Trained facilitators lead seven interactive sessions two hours each in length. The course includes a professionally developed curriculum, multimedia presentations, individual and group activities, art instructional activities, homework assignments and discussions. Child care and refreshments are provided.

Most of the parents attending agreed that the program was of interest and will be participating in the School Smarts Academy slated for March 1.

For more information on the School Smarts program, visit capta.org/schoolsmarts.

For more information on Anza Valley Artists, visit www.anzavalleyartists.com.

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