The City of White Plains is a thriving suburban city of about 50,000 people, approximately 25 miles northeast of New York City. Each day I have the honor of teaching 135 students various art electives. Our students come from a variety of different economic backgrounds with over 40% of our students receiving free lunch. Our school is also one of the most ethnically diverse schools in the county. Students speak a multitude of languages including English, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Arabic. As diverse as our students are economically and culturally, they are diverse in their academics.
Our school is now offering three types of AP (Advanced Placement) art courses - Drawing and Painting, 2-D Design and 3-D Design. In addition I help a large number of students each year prepare portfolios (to get in art colleges) in an elective entitled Advanced Portfolio. In order to support these exciting courses, I desperately need better technology for my classroom. Many students want to create digital art in addition to traditional art and need technology like an iPad and Apple pencil. This technology will help students on assignments, help to prepare electronic portfolios and help prepare students for college.
Out of our 2500 students enrolled, our visual arts classes service more than half of the student population.
The visual arts provide opportunities for all students to perceive, respond to, create and communicate through images, allowing them to experience and apply throughout their lives the power, ideas, and emotions expressed in visual images.
The visual arts are fundamental to the development of individual potential, social responsibility, and cultural awareness
They contribute to the intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, social, and physical development of the individual, foster respect for and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritages and values, and provide students with pleasure, enjoyment, and a deepened awareness of themselves and their place in their environment, community, and culture.
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