The Common Core State Standards, the standardized educational benchmarks for U.S. public schools, has omitted cursive writing as a requirement. While some states, including Indiana and Hawaii, had dropped cursive from their curriculum as early as 2011, others are fighting for it.
According to United Press International, teachers in at least seven states aren’t ready to let penmanship go without a fight. Many educators consider cursive writing an important skill and expressed concern about future generations lacking the ability to write or read cursive.
According to KidzArt president, Chris Cruikshank, “The act of cursive writing is more than just another way to communicate ideas. It truly is an art form that not only helps to develop eye-hand coordination, but also offers an individualized visual communication through each writer’s unique style.”
Laura Dinehart of Florida International University’s college of education, says that handwriting skills in children are a strong indicator of their success in school later, citing research that showed children who had strong handwriting at age four were more likely to excel at math and reading once they reached grade school.
KidzArt is concerned with the fact that 45 states have dropped cursive writing from their curriculum and is encouraging instructors to include a cursive “warm up” exercise in their art class format.
Sources: LiveScience.com, United Press International
Photo: Eric Cuthbert
KidzArt/Art Innovators was recently named as one of the Top 50 Franchises for Minorities. The list was published in the USA Today Franchising Today issue on October 25, 2013.
“We’re very proud to be part of this list of organizations who give entrepreneurs of all backgrounds the opportunity to be business owners,” says KidzArt CEO, Sue Bartman.
The National Minority Franchising Initiative (NMFI) has compiled its annual list of the “50 Top Franchises for Minorities” from hundreds of companies requesting inclusion. Qualifying franchisors had to have in excess of 40 operating units and final selection was based on operating units owned by minorities, as well as the number of minorities in senior management that earned over $60,000 per year.
“The steady increase in minority representation in franchising, especially among Hispanics and Asian-Americans, over the last several years are very encouraging,” stated Rob Bond, founder of NMFI and president of the World Franchising Network. “It certainly is evidence of minorities’ intrinsic values and work ethic. In addition, franchisors continue to make a concerted effort to reach out to minorities, which is ultimately highly beneficial in the long run to all parties involved.”
KidzArt is an art education program that provides drawing-based, multi-media visual arts instruction for kids from preschoolers to teens as well as adults. The organization’s after-school and camp classes provide children with a guided foundation for drawing, but also encourage brainstorming and creative thinking and other “21st century skills”.
KidzArt/Art Innovators has been acknowledged in the past for its achievements in the industry. The company has previously been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 and on multiple military/veteran friendly franchise lists.
Explore Germany and Austria in 2014!
Dates: June 27th – July 6th – 2014
Come on an adventure with the Apex KidzArt Studio and Travel for Teens on a family friendly itinerary. This German and Austrian cultural immersion adventure features central, authentic accommodations, superb meals along with cultural activities.
The itinerary will highlight the best sights and experiences the romantic Rhine River, medieval Rothenburg, Munich, the Bavarian Alps and Mozart’s Salzburg. This itinerary has been specially designed for families with activities that will appeal to the young and the young at heart! Check out link for detailed itinerary http://tftschooltrips.com/apex2014/index.html.
Considered one of the most popular and top selling contemporary artists (based on auction records compiled by Artprice), Jeff Koons is an American artist who works with sculpture and mixed media. He’s known for his brash style of avant-garde art.
His reproduction of ordinary, commonplace objects such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel go for substantial sums of money. His Orange Balloon Dog is one in a series of five and is expected to sell for between $35 and $55 million at Christie’s this month according for Forbes Magazine!
Koons has created original sculptures of celebrities such as Michael Jackson in 1988 and most recently Lady Gaga for her newly released album. He even applied his style of art to a black BMW that has vivid primary colors covering it to create the look of speed.
His works have been exhibited at some of the best art museums throughout the world from New York to Versailles.
KidzArt/Art Innovators president Chris Cruikshank viewed Koons’ Michael Jackson sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Art. “The sculpture had a weird effect on me. The material was shiny and white and it was as if it was daring the viewer to find some common ground,” says Cruikshank.
For a glimpse at all of Koon’s art collections, visit www.jeffkoons.com.
Decorate your front door to give trick or treaters some extra Halloween fun!
What you’ll need:
1 Paper Plate
Green or Purple Crepe Paper
1 Pack of Giant Black Pipe Cleaners
White or Silver Painters Tape
Rip off small pieces of crepe paper, crinkle them and glue to the plate until the entire plate is covered. Use tape to stick on googly eyes.
Cut 6 equal length pieces of black pipe cleaners and tape them to the back of the plate. Now you have your spider.
Use strips of painters tape to make several octagons on the door to make the spider’s web.
Attach the spider with more tape and you’re finished!
If you’re celebrating Christopher Columbus’ arrival to America today, make mini versions of his ships, the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria from painted egg carton cups.
What you’ll need
• 3 egg carton cups
• Brown acrylic craft paint
• ¼ cup modeling clay or play dough
• 6 toothpicks
• 1 sheet white paper
• White craft glue
How to make it
1. Paint the egg cups inside and out with brown paint. Set aside to dry.
2. Cut sails from white paper. You will need 6 large sails (1.5″ x 1″) and 18 small sails (.5″ x .75″).
3. Set aside three of the toothpicks for the large sails. Break or cut the other three toothpicks in half, giving you 6 halves.
4. Put a line of glue through the middle of one of the small sails. Place the cut or broken end of one of the toothpick halves onto the glue line.
5. Roll it in the glue to cover both sides, then place another sail on top, sandwiching the two sails together. Flatten the sails together with your fingers and set aside to dry.
6. Repeat step number 5 with each toothpick half and 2 small sails (each).
7. Following the guide in step number 5, make the larger salls. For each large sail you will need a toothpick, 2 small sails and 2 large sails. Glue the small sail to the end of the full toothpick, and then glue the larger sail beneath it, leaving a small gap between the top and bottom sail. Set aside to dry.
8. Roll a small amount of clay in your palm, enough to line the bottom of the egg cup. Place in the egg cup and flatten to cover bottom.
9. Insert open end of large sail into the middle of the clay. Insert two small sails, one on either side of the large sail, into the clay.
Source/photo credit: Spoonful.com
ROY G BIV, the acronym for the order of colors of the rainbow: Red. Orange. Yellow. Green. Blue. Indigo. Violet. In this new book by that name, a writer and design expert provides a new way of looking at the world and shows how we use color to interpret things in our daily lives.
According to the author Jude Stewart,, “I wrote ROY G. BIV to reawaken our eyes to color, so we can see how startling and amazing this everyday phenomenon is.”
Find out what colors mean, hear stories about colors and inform your eye at multiple levels. Learn how color associations vary by culture and geographic location.
This is a wonderful book for artists, art teachers, designers and anyone interested in and amazed by color.
“Stewart’s well-designed book is visually stimulating and surprising, reminding readers that colors are sill as fascinating and fun as they were in grade school.” – Publishers Weekly
In 2010 the 111th Congress designated the week beginning on the second Sunday of September as Arts in Education Week. Congress highlighted the importance of arts education to emphasize the need to prepare students for the demands of the 21st century.
Here are two important excerpts from the resolution:
- Whereas arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students;
- Whereas the arts provide the skills and knowledge students need to develop the creativity and determination necessary for success in the global information age;
The national spotlight of Arts in Education Week enhances the visibility and importance of increasing the access of high quality arts education for all students.
Participate this week by supporting the ongoing efforts to keep arts a fundamental part of our children’s education. Volunteer at a local school, offer assistance or supplies to an art or music teacher or support youth theater. Let your local school and community leaders know that the arts are an important part of a well-rounded education.
The pressures for children to succeed academically are greater today than ever. Many parents are tuning in to unique ways to help their kids have an enjoyable yet productive school year. There are many simple, effective things parents can do to enhance their child’s confidence level, attitude and academic performance.
Here are some ways that artistic activities can help your child succeed in the new school year:
1. Reduce the stress factor in your kids’ lives- Provide a quiet area where your child can go to decompress from the school day. Have art materials and simple household items available in a workspace area away from the TV or noisy siblings so your child can relax by doing an easy art activity.
2. Balance academics by introducing a “right brain” extracurricular activity- Allow children to exercise their right brain after a day of left-brain school academics. Right brain activity is stimulated by new events or activities, working with different colors, shapes and sizes as well as listening to music.
3. Develop and nurture creativity- Art is just one of the many creative activities that can help children improve cognitive development, strengthen communication, expressive skills and boost reasoning and organization skills. By being able to explore their creativity, children can exercise skills which can strengthen their academic abilities and success in school.
4. Allow children to make mistakes- Children often fear ridicule from their peers if they make a mistake. Unfortunately this same fear inhibits creativity and creative problem solving. Allowing your child to experiment with art also allows them to take a risk and experience the creative process. This skill will serve them well in their academic pursuits.
Starting off the new school year is guaranteed to be full of excitement and anxiety- for both students and their parents! Making the transition can be a challenge but there are things to do that can alleviate your child’s fear and apprehension.
Let your children know you care. If your child is anxious about school, send personal notes in the lunch box or book bag. Reinforce the ability to cope. Children absorb their parent’s anxiety, so model optimism and confidence for your child. Let your child know that it is natural to be a little nervous anytime you start something new but that your child will be just fine once he or she becomes familiar with classmates, the teacher, and school routine.
Do not overreact. If the first few days are a little rough, try not to over react. Young children in particular may experience separation anxiety or shyness initially but teachers are trained to help them adjust. If you drop them off, try not to linger. Reassure them that you love them, will think of them during the day, and will be back.
Remain calm and positive. Acknowledge anxiety over a bad experience the previous year. Children who had a difficult time academically or socially or were teased or bullied may be more fearful or reluctant to return to school. If you have not yet done so, share your child’s concern with the school and confirm that the problem has been addressed. Reassure your child that the problem will not occur again in the new school year, and that you and the school are working together to prevent further issues.
Reinforce your child’s ability to cope. Give your child a few strategies to manage a difficult situation on his or her own. But encourage your child to tell you or the teacher if the problem persists. Maintain open lines of communication with the school.
Arrange play dates. Try to arrange get-togethers with some of your child’s classmates before school starts and during the first weeks of schools to help your child re-establish positive social relationships with peers.
Plan to volunteer in the classroom. If possible, plan to volunteer in the classroom at least periodically throughout the year. Doing so helps your child understand that school and family life are linked and that you care about the learning experience. Being in the classroom is also a good way to develop a relationship with your child’s teachers and classmates, and to get firsthand exposure to the classroom environment and routine. Most teachers welcome occasional parent help, even if you cannot volunteer regularly.
Source: National Association of School Psychologists
Photo credit: Scott Wills