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!
Support Kindergarten Arts through the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Program: DONATE NOW and mark your gift is In Honor of Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts.
Youth in Arts is proud to announce the fourth year of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund to celebrate the life of five-year-old Walker Rezaian. To honor Walker’s love of the arts, we worked with his family to create a kindergarten visual arts program focused on the theme of friendship. The program combines a visual arts residency with teacher professional development, parent training, a gallery exhibit of student work, and a community-wide celebration of friendship and kindergarten artists.
We encourage you to visit the Imagining Friendship Gallery exhibit April 8 – May 27 at Youth in Arts so you can get a sense of the depth of the program.
If you are interested in this program for your kindergarteners, please complete the online application and submit it to Youth in Arts by May 18, 2016.
The Selected School will receive a Youth in Arts visual arts program valued at $12,000. The Program includes:
Title 1 School in Marin County (Kindergarten classrooms)
May 18, 2016 Deadline to submit application
June 21, 2016 Announcement of selection made in a public event, on the YIA blog and by e-blast, and selected school will be personally notified.
Fall 2016 Kindergarten Creative HeArts Program Commences
Spring 2017 Gallery Exhibit of student work, and community-wide celebration
How to submit:
Online here feel free to email for additional information: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
WALKER REZAIAN CREATIVE HEARTS AT LOMA VERDE
Novato School Celebrates Friendship with Arts Program
Youth in Arts will open the first annual Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund exhibit, on Friday, April 11, at YIA Gallery on C Street in downtown San Rafael. Entitled “Imagining Friendship,” the exhibit will feature work by kindergarteners from Loma Verde Elementary School in Novato who have been exploring friendship through visual art as part of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program, celebrating 5-year-old Walker Rezaian’s life and love for the arts.
YIA Gallery is the only art gallery in the Bay Area, and one of only a few in the nation, dedicated to exhibiting children’s art. “Imagining Friendship” will feature children’s drawings, paintings and sculpture displayed on, around and inside large cardboard structures that visitors of all ages can explore from outside and within. Young visitors can crawl through cardboard tunnels and caves and even stand inside a nine-foot periscope to view the gallery. The interactive exhibit will run through May 30, 2014, and admission is free.
Loma Verde School was selected as the first recipient of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program through a competitive application process. The program’s curriculum focuses on the theme of “Friendship,” an appropriate tribute to Walker, who touched so many lives in his Mill Valley community with his loving and outgoing personality. Youth in Arts developed the program in collaboration with Walker’s family.
For three months Youth in Arts Director of Artists in Schools Suzanne Joyal has been coming to Loma Verde kindergarten classrooms to teach visual art lessons around ideas like “Sharing” “Empathy” “Envisioning” and “Appreciating Differences.” At the same time as the children have been exploring these powerful ideas through their creativity, they have been learning basic fundamentals in line, color and form. Teachers and parents also received special trainings from Youth in Arts.
Principal Eileen Smith, reflected on the program, “The impact of arts on learning cannot necessarily be measured by a standardized test, however the personal and cognitive development of the kindergarten students was greatly increased through the art projects they were involved in this year at Loma Verde. Our students benefited immensely through the generous funding of the Walker Program and Youth in Arts. Students explored friendship through the patterns of playground adventures. The kinder students were able to express themselves in a nonverbal form increasing the cognitive processes used in geometry and furthering their personal development in learning about the patterns of friendship. Watching the students express their thoughts and feelings through art was a beautiful experience and Loma Verde is grateful that our students had this opportunity.’
Joyal described the process as joyful, “I was delighted by how willing the children were to take a risk. I loved how unique every child’s work was. They were so willing to express themselves in their own way. After lessons, teachers would sometimes express that a child was having difficulty and the only way they could share their emotions was through the artistic process. I couldn’t tell which child it was since they all responded so positively to the art.”
Loma Verde serves a diverse student population, including a significant percentage of students from low-income families. Says Principal Eileen Smith, “We have never had funds available to support a formal visual arts program such as this,” adding that the program helped English Language Learners and economically disadvantaged students “express themselves more deeply and feel more an integral part of our school community.”
At the end of the residency Joyal created individualized miniature works of art to give to each of the students. She explained, “The entire school, teachers, parents, kids gave me so much, tried so hard and came to each class with a positive attitude, I felt I wanted to give a going away present.”
Loma Verde Kindergarten Teacher Beth Kraft said, “Suzanne makes art accessible to all students by creating a very safe and accepting place for them to be unique in their expression of art and creativity.”
Youth in Arts Executive Director Miko Lee has announced that applications are open for the 2014-15 Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Kindergarten Arts Program. “We are very honored to continue this program,” said Lee. “Walker’s family was directly involved in designing the program, and it was important to all of us that we create something with a lasting impact. It’s not just something for these children in their kindergarten year. It’s setting them on the path towards always having the arts in their lives, and having that supported by their teachers and families.”
Interested Title I schools in Marin County should apply by May 17. Apply here.
The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund is a project of the Walker Rezaian Memorial Fund. Youth in Arts is a nonprofit established in 1970. The leading arts education nonprofit in the North Bay, Youth in Arts offers students experiences and instruction in the visual and performing arts, and enriches the community with cultural events.
Loma Verde Elementary School in Novato will receive visual arts instruction from Youth in Arts Mentor Artists for all kindergarten students, along with special trainings for parents and teachers and a culminating YIA Gallery exhibit, through the generosity of the Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund.
The program celebrates the life and love for the arts of five-year-old Walker Rezaian. Visual arts lessons at Loma Verde will focus on the theme of “Friendship,” an appropriate tribute to Walker, who touched so many lives in his Mill Valley community with his loving and outgoing personality. Youth in Arts has worked closely with Walker’s family in designing the program and selecting Loma Verde as the 2013-14 recipient.
Principal Eileen Smith says Loma Verde parents have greeted this opportunity “with great enthusiasm—they are highly motivated to facilitate this program.” The school has not had funding for a formal visual arts program in the past, and Smith says they anticipate a very positive impact on their students. The school serves a diverse population of children, many of whom are English Language Learners from economically disadvantaged families.
The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund is a project of the Walker Rezaian Memorial Fund. For more information, please contact Miko Lee or leave a comment here.
The Walker Rezaian Creative HeArts Fund was established to celebrate the life of five-year-old Walker Rezaian. To honor Walker’s love of the arts, Youth in Arts worked with his family to create a kindergarten visual arts program focused on the theme of friendship. The program combines a visual arts residency with teacher professional development, parent training, a gallery exhibit of student work, and a community-wide celebration of friendship and kindergarten artists.
If you are interested in this program for your kindergarteners, please complete the attached application and submit it to Youth in Arts by May 18, 2015.
The Selected School will receive a Youth in Arts visual arts program valued at $10,000. The Program includes:
Title 1 School in Marin County (Kindergarten classrooms)
May 18, 2015: Deadline to submit application
June 12, 2015: Announcement of selection made at YIA Gallery during 2nd Fridays Art Walk Downtown, on the YIA blog and via e-blast (selected school will also be personally notified).
Fall 2015: Kindergarten Creative HeArts Program Commences
Spring 2016: Gallery Exhibit of student work, and community-wide celebration
How to submit:
Miko Lee, Executive Director
Youth in Arts
917 C Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
Thank you for your continued support: Laurel Dell PTA teachers, parents and students, the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund, and the California Arts Council.
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.
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!
We are so grateful to TOAST Restaurant in Novato for exhibiting the beautiful portraits of past participants in the Walker Rezaian Creative Hearts Fund Kindergarten Art Project.
Every year Children work so hard to create their portraits as they study line, color, form, and emotion to create these wonderful works of art.
Portraits will be on display until May 30: stop in and take a look!
TOAST for breakfast lunch or dinner, 5800 Nave Drive, Unit G, Novato, CA 94949