My school is situated in a high poverty area. Sadly, the budget has zero allowance at the start of each school year to purchase even some of the most basic art supplies. The buildings are old but are organized as a pleasant open-air space. The school is populated by vivacious children who are mild-mannered and eager to learn.
Our school is trying to get a STEAM certification despite the many challenges our students have to face, included but not limited to financial, environmental and familial situations.
They want to show the world that they can be high achievers too.
Being mostly first-generation immigrants, some of the students I teach come from countries where schools barely had the minimum to teach core subjects let alone the visual arts.
For most, art is a foreign subject to them. When they first set their eyes on my art class, I see stars in their eyes. They are mesmerized by all of the possibilities art has to offer.
Discovering the visual arts fuels their imaginations and opens up their minds to their new community. The visual arts drives their creativity through an enjoyable learning process.
Every year I ask my students to buy some basic art supplies like pencils, pencil sharpeners, scissors and glue sticks. However they usually do not bring them.
My students are unable to purchase school supplies because of their household incomes.
Hence every year I have to find a way to purchase these necessary items to create our STEM/STEAM projects.
We are requesting pencils, pencil sharpeners, scissors, glue sticks and ink necessary to create their projects. Many of our STEM/STEAM projects are engineering based. I usually need to print templates as a way to facilitate the process. Then drafting, cutting and gluing are involved. Without these basic items it is near to impossible to create the best STEM/STEAM projects.
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