Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

March 21, 2006 > Teacher grants awarded

Teacher grants awarded

by Douglas Gephart

Curators of the Hal Booth Memorial Art Fund have awarded 20 mini grants to teachers in the Fremont Unified School District who have developed visual arts projects based on the concepts of peace, acceptance and tolerance. The PAT Project, as the grant program is called, has provided $9,130 this school year to support the teachers' projects. The Booth Fund also contributed $3,500 to for teacher grants in the 2004-05 school year.

Thirteen elementary school teachers received awards, Maureen Addiego of Cabrillo, Connie Kellogg of Chadbourne, Joanne Cho of Durham, Qiang Ma of Forest Park, Frances Bender of Gomes, Kathleen Caine of Green, Ray Flores and Sue McKittrick from Grimmer, Maria DeLuz of Leitch, Eden Adams of Mattos, Codel Frydendahl and Lisa O'Connor of Niles and Pam Ibrahim from Vallejo Mill all received grants of $300-$500.

The themes of their projects were drawn largely from the ideas in the Heart, Head, Hands and other character education programs taught in FUSD elementary schools, including illustrating poetry, sending drawings to pen pals in other countries, drawing their idea of peace, illustrating friendship, and visualizing various character traits. Students also were asked to illustrate the important elements in their cultural heritage and to draw pictures of great humanitarians such as Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Two awards were granted to junior high teachers. Susan Manbeian of Hopkins Junior High School received a grant for her students to create life-size and larger folk characters drawn from Fremont's multicultural heritage. Those sculptures are on display as part of the spring art exhibit through April 30 at the FUSD Education Center, 4210 Technology Drive. Jane Turner of Thornton Junior High School won a grant to present an instructional unit on The Diary of Anne Frank that will require students to write poetry and create artwork expressing the sense of "eroded identity" and other emotions associated with the intolerance and fear.

Three Mission San Jose High School teachers received awards of $500 each. Edie Christensen is having her students create a mural based on the concepts of multinational and multicultural peace, acceptance and tolerance. Frank Kreacic is having his students produce a mural based on a digital image study of the themes of peace, acceptance and tolerance in the works of Leonardo DaVinci, Diego Rivera and other master artists. Risha Krishna's students are using clay and paint to present ideas about racial harmony using historic symbols.

Kennedy High School art teacher Victoria Mulcahy is using her funding to have her students create a mural illustrating tolerance through the presentation of flags of countries around the world. Irvington High School teacher Robert Moran has proposed a "pots for peace" project in which students will paint and carve replicas of ancient Greek vases with illustrations of the concepts of peace, tolerance and acceptance as they relate to the story of the Trojan War.

The students of FUSD and I owe a debt of gratitude to the Booth family for supplementing the meager public funding schools receive for art education and ensuring that the fulfillment of creating fine art is not lost to future generations.

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