By Hanna I.
While I was a college student working as a library clerk, I found a way to combine my work with two of my passions: art and teaching children. During that time, I was studying to become an elementary school teacher. As I spent time in elementary schools as part of my education, I noticed that there is a trend in our nation towards high stakes testing in math, reading, and science, which has an unfortunate consequence of squeezing the arts out of the curriculum. I also noticed that in my community, all summer art programs for kids were very expensive ($70+). I decided to start a program so affordable that any child could attend, so I charged just $10 total for a weekly class taught at a local park during one month in the summer. The response from parents and children was better than I had hoped, and it was so exciting to see their enthusiastic support for “Summer Sketch Club,” an affordable children’s art program. In fact, the program was so successful that the following summer, the director of the library asked me to allow the library to fund the program and teach the classes as part of the library’s summer reading program. When registration time came, the classes filled up so quickly that the number of students tripled in size and extra classes had to be added to accommodate the demand.
With the library’s help, I was able to lengthen the class to six sessions and expose the children to even more art media while still charging only $10. Through use of the library’s cameras and technology, I was also able to film instructional YouTube videos for students to watch at home before class and anyone else interested in learning the techniques to watch. A gallery showing off the students’ work at the end of the summer was a well-attended community event. Summer Sketch Club’s success led me to land my dream job after I graduated college–teaching art to children at the elementary school across the street from North Logan City Library! As I prepare to teach Summer Sketch Club at the library in its third year this year, it’s really a dream come true to see what started as a tiny, crazy idea grow into a library sponsored program that fosters a love of art in children in our community. I’m so glad that the North Logan City Library has made that dream come true!