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May 27, 2009 > Delaine Eastin Elementary to host Gallery Night

Delaine Eastin Elementary to host Gallery Night

By Simon Wong

Proud students and parents will host their first Annual Gallery Night at 6.30 p.m. on May 29 at Delaine Eastin Elementary School, 34901 Eastin Drive, Union City.

Parent volunteers added an arts education program to the school's strong academic curriculum last year.

The Art Vistas program, developed 25 years ago by San Jose's Union School District to bring art to the attention of K-5 students, was chosen. Classes began in Nov 2008 with $9,000 from the Eastin Parent Teacher Club and the Associated Student Body following news that anticipated grant funding for the arts was no longer available.

Students in each participating grade complete six themed units with a team of trained parents who assume roles as Art Vistas docents. Docents focus attention on a selected "great work of art" and guide students in highly interactive, age-appropriate discussions about fundamental art principles. Students then work with the docents on related hands-on art activity.

Art Vistas' program has been overwhelmingly successful. Parents relate stories of how their children point out public art and share what they know of the artist or art form. Others have seen keener interest in drawing and painting. The greater awareness, appreciation and knowledge of art and opportunities for hands-on exploration have boosted students' confidence in their artistic abilities.
The docents are gathering and preparing thousands of pieces of student art for their first Annual Gallery Night. Each child will display at least one item. The Art Association of the East Bay, Inc, a non-profit, will present Eastin's Art Vistas program with a small grant and has lent art grids for the exhibition.

The Art Vistas curriculum is well-established but a tremendous effort was needed to initiate the all-volunteer program. This is needed to ensure the program continues. There is a steering committee consisting of two co-coordinators, a volunteer coordinator, a supply coordinator, classroom teacher liaison and creative/marketing coordinator. Grade-level coordinators help train and organize a large team of parent docents to use classroom time effectively and prepare for Gallery Night. Eastin's volunteers include two trained artists from the community, who serve as docents, train docents and contribute works of art as teaching aids.
The docents and steering committee have devoted many hours to train, prepare supplies and prints and present lessons to make this program fun, rewarding and effective. This all-volunteer group has successfully brought the fine arts back to Eastin Elementary.


Gallery Night
Friday, May 29
6.30 p.m.
Delaine Eastin Elementary School,
34901 Eastin Drive, Union City
510) 475-9630
www.artvistas.org and www.artassociationeastbay.org

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