917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
Families of kindergarten and first grade students joined together for an evening of literacy fun! Teachers Alejandra Vazquez and Krista Wallinger worked with reading specialist Maggie Stevens to share tools for new readers with students and their families. Participants received books to take home, and grown-ups practiced techniques for encouraging new readers.
Youth in Arts’ own Suzanne Joyal and Cathy Bowman (who is teaching the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Program with these students) designed a very special book for each child to make and utilize at home. It features the first letters that students learn, and each page is made from an envelope. Students drew a letter on each page, illustrated that page with words and pictures that start with the letter, then scrambled around the room searching for words that would go in each envelope.
Instructions in the book encourage parents to help their children find more words to add to the envelope pages, and then to take the words out to practice reading and writing. Since the binding of the book is just two holes, a rubber band and a popsicle stick, parents and students can continue to add pages as new letters are added to their word wall!
We are also working on refining the Letter Dance: combining sounds and shapes and movements which we can choreograph with words–stay tuned…
Thank you to our supporters~
Students practiced sequencing (before and after), and also reflected on all of our recent work with observational drawing, imaginative monster drawing, horizon lines, landscapes, and color mixing as they worked in teams of 2 or 3 to imagine the adventure a horse might have in Daisy Come Home. We put all of the images together in a book for the classroom, and now they can practice writing to add words to their part of the story. These students participated in the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts project last year, and we are able to build on all of their prior knowledge.
Admiring Finished Paintings
Daisy Come Home, By Ms. Nunez’ first graders and Suzanne Joyal (A mostly true story).
A long time ago, before there were cars and lights and motors, my great-grandparents Josie and Buggy lived with their horse Daisy on a farm near the ocean. Every day when the weather was good, Buggie would load his tools onto his wagon, harness Daisy to the front, and ride to the dock at the edge of the ocean. He would load his tools onto his rowboat. Before he got in his boat to row to an island, he would pat Daisy on the rump, and say “Daisy Go Home!”
And every day, Daisy would go straight home to Josie. At the end of the day, Josie would pat Daisy on the rump again, and send her back to the dock to bring Buggie home.
Until the day she didn’t come straight home, and went on an adventure all by herself! No one knows what she did. Where would YOU go if you were Daisy?
Following are a few of the imaginings of Ms. Nunez’ students. Daisy changed colors, went to the mountains, ate some apples and blueberries, made some friends, walked through a snow storm, went to Chuckie Cheese’s, got lost in a rainforest, and even met some dinosaurs!
Thank you for your support, California Arts Council!
Celebrating Laurel Dell young artists at Youth in Arts
On Thursday, April 27, Laurel Dell teachers, students, staff and families came together at Youth in Arts to celebrate artwork on exhibit created by Laurel Dell kindergarteners in the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Art Program.
Parents and kids create art together through the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts program
Created by Youth in Arts and Walker’s family to celebrate Walker’s life and love for the arts, the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program combines visual arts classes led by professional artist and educators with “Family Art Nights” that bring the school community together.
We learn to be artists and to be great friends!
All Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts activities center on a theme of friendship–this is both a celebration of Walker, who was gregarious and loved making new friends, and a perfect developmental link for kindergarteners who are learning to be a part of a school community.
Celebrating student artists creates a sense of pride and gives children a voice
The culmination of the project is the annual “Imagining Friendship” gallery exhibit of student work on view at YIA Gallery in downtown San Rafael through May.
The exhibit includes hands-on activities for all ages
The exhibit also includes work from kindergarteners at Venetia Valley, who will celebrate together this week on May 4, and hands-on art activities for visitors. We are open to the public weekdays 11-4, as well as this weekend May 6-7 from noon to 4 pm for Marin Open Studios and on Friday, May 12 from 5 to 8 pm for 2nd Fridays Art Walk Downtown.
The box house is fun to explore!
Colorful self-portraits created by the students are displayed alongside artist-created cardboard play spaces that show children you can create “something from nothing”.
A beautiful gift from Laurel Dell for Naomi Tamura and the Creative HeArts Fund
Laurel Dell staff, teachers and families created a beautiful tote for Naomi Tamura and Ali Rezaian who started the Creative HeArts Fund to honor their son, Walker, and who helped Youth in Arts design the program to have a lasting impact on children. Naomi has since also become Youth in Arts Board President, leading the organization in reaching more Marin children with our creative programs.
The party atmosphere included food provided by the school for all the kindergarten families attending.
To learn more about Creative HeArts, check out our video below. For more about the gallery exhibit, click here. To donate to support this opportunity for young artists, visit our online donation page.
Youth in Arts thanks the Creative HeArts Fund and the Tamura and Rezaian families for their ongoing support for this program.
This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.
Created by Youth in Arts and Walker Rezaian’s family to celebrate Walker’s life and love for the arts, the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program combines a visual arts residency for all Kindergarten classes in selected sites with teacher and parent trainings, a gallery exhibit of student work, and a community-wide celebration of friendship and young artists.
Schools are selected for the program through an application process each Spring, open to all Title I schools in Marin County. Selected sites receive a comprehensive program valued at $12,000, including:
See our blog for stories and photos from past recipient schools!
Loma Verde Elementary (2013-14)
Bahia Vista Elementary (2014-15)
Laurel Dell Elementary (2015-16)
Support Kindergarten Arts through the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Program: DONATE NOW and mark your gift is In Honor of Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts.
Last night, sounds of laughter, music and stories filled the auditorium on the campus of Laurel Dell Elementary School as Youth in Arts conducted the second Family Art Night as part of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeARTS Fund.
Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal led the intergenerational crowd in making a book entitled, “With Our Hands.” Caregivers and their children outlined their hands on recycled maps and then decided what their hands could do together. The book will go on display in the “Imagining Friendship” Gallery Exhibit opening at YIA Gallery on April 8.
Meanwhile Executive Director Miko Lee led families in an old fashioned quilting bee, sewing diamond shapes onto a 12′ Guatemalan kite. The kite pieces were designed at the enthusiastic Family Art Night in February. There were so many diamond shapes designed that Youth in Arts will create an additional kite.
Suzanne will be headed back to the school to make sure as many students as possible are included in this additional finished kite. The kites were designed to celebrate community and be mobile. The finished kites will be unveiled at the YIA Gallery and then will move to the temporary school site while Laurel Dell is under construction. The collaborative artwork will travel with the community.
Thanks to our amazing volunteers: Stephanie Daly for ironing the diamonds onto the kite and recreating the centerpiece, and to youth volunteers Lena and Haley for helping out on the Family Nights. And a great thanks to all the parents, caregivers, teachers and children that came out to make art with us. We know you have so many things to do and we are thrilled when you join us to create, collaborate, and build friendships. As Principal Pepe Gonzalez summed up, “Another great night with Youth in Arts!”
Thanks to the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund and the California Arts Council for making this possible.
We’re off to a strong start in the T-K and Kindergarten classrooms at Laurel Dell Elementary school, 2015-2016 recipients of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Award.
Students have been working with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal, learning to use drawing pencils, black china markers, colored pencils, and even Sharpies. They have been working on showing and telling more about themselves through their pictures, and on customizing their Beautiful New Art Journals. Thank you RileyStreet yet again for your help in getting the best supplies to our kids.
Thank you for your continued support: Laurel Dell PTA teachers, parents and students, the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund, and the California Arts Council.
Visit YIA Gallery to explore a world inspired by kids’ creativity! Experience a cardboard village brought to life, with drawings, paintings and sculptures from the 2017-18 Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program at Laurel Dell elementary school in San Rafael. Find out how these young artists explored ideas about friendship and emotion through the visual arts. Led by mentor artist Suzanne Joyal.
Creative HeArts Gallery Exhibit
YIA Gallery at Youth in Arts
917 C Street, San Rafael
Opening party for Laurel Dell Thursday, April 4 6-7:30pm
Late hours for the public 5-8 p.m. on April 13 & June 8 for Art Walk Downtown (closed May 11 for the Electric Blues Party)
Regular hours Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through June 31
Free tours are available weekday for school and youth groups by appointment only. Email email@example.com or call 415-457-4878 ext. 150 to reserve.
The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program is supported by the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund celebrating Walker’s life, love of art and friendly personality. Click here for more information.
Thursday night brought Laurel Dell families from every grade together for an inspired evening of creativity. Fourth and fifth graders began the evening by sharing their visions for their new school with their friends and family. Students worked with architects Shirl Buss and Rich Storek to practice design thinking strategies as they explored ideas and created solutions for their new school.
Kindergarteners showed friends and family just a little of what they have learned as they added creatures and people to their imaginary world. As recipients of the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts grant, students in TK and K learned about strategies for being a good friend as they also discovered lines and shapes and colors and tools in their three-month visual arts residency with Mentor Artist Suzanne Joyal.
We wish to make a special thank you to the Laurel Dell PTA, the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund, the California Arts Council and the California Wellness Foundation for their generous contributions to the Arts at Laurel Dell Elementary School.
In our second week at Laurel Dell Elementary, working with TK and Kindergarten classes through the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program, we explored shapes and textures as we created beautiful wall hangings using contact paper, construction paper, lots of different shapes and textures, and magic gold!
Magic Gold makes the shapes and drawings come alive.
Kindergarteners are learning about comparisons, shapes and textures.
The project was inspired by work that was already happening in the classroom.