CORNING, N.Y. (March 24, 2017) – Today, teachers, parents and students of Diven Elementary School in Elmira celebrated the artwork of first grade students who participated in the Great Circle Artist-in-Residence, a collaboration between The Rockwell Museum and the Elmira City School District. For the last five weeks, visiting artist Aleta Wynn Yarrow worked with each class and provided an opportunity for students to experience many types of art, including clay, book arts, drawing, and writing, through individual and group work. Problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity were incorporated into the activities throughout the residency. As part of The Great Circle program, students also visited The Rockwell Museum and experienced the galleries through a variety of activities.

“The goal of The Great Circle Artist-in-Residence program is to unify learning across all first grade curriculum content. Students build upon and synthesize concepts introduced in the Listening and Learning Domains including folktales and legends; animals and habitats; geometry; astronomy; earth sciences; and the Lakota tribes of the Great Plains,” said Aleta Wynn Yarrow, artist-in-residence.

The Rockwell Museum and the Elmira City School District have partnered to create this artist-in-residence program entitled, The Great Circle. This program offers interactive arts programming to all first grade students in the Elmira schools and topics complement the New York State Common Core curriculum. Students are encouraged to look at new ways to understand associated concepts.

“We believe in arts in education and are passionate about collaborating with area schools to offer expanded art experiences in the classroom which connect to curriculum. Research bears out that Art is a powerful tool for learning. When children study a concept, they learn it better and retain it longer if they do an art activity that reinforces that learning.  The Great Circle Artist-in-Residence advances a vision to be an integral and progressive part of the arts by serving surrounding communities and by providing enriching experiences for students,” says Mary E. Mix, Senior Museum Educator.

All First Grade students received a Forever Pass after visiting The Rockwell Museum. The pass provides free admission for families and can be reused again and again. Families are invited to visit The Rockwell to see the art which helped inspire their students’ work and to also enjoy the many self-guided activities that are offered free of charge, daily.

Rockwell educators are at the forefront of art enrichment and working with surrounding school districts that face economic hardships. District-wide implementation for all first grade students during the 2016-2017 academic year is been made possible in part with the support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Hardinge Anderson Evans Foundation, The Hilliard Foundation, Anderson Foundation, Tripp Foundation and M&T Bank.

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