My (3) 8th grade classes (72 students) need Claytoon non-drying modeling clay in various colors, with storage boxes.
I am an art teacher at a Title I K-8 public school, in an urban neighborhood in New York. Our student body consists of ~500 children; 93% are in the free lunch program. Culturally, we are quite diverse for this area of our city: Dominican, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Venezuelan, Colombian, Albanian, Serbian, Yemeni, Russian, Japanese, Trinidadian and African American. There are 2 classes per grade (18) and 2 special education classes - one elementary and the other junior high. Our supplementary services include ESL, AIS and Resource Room programs (small group instruction) for reading and math. Our entire student body participates in the School-wide Enrichment Model program, which provides block periods 1x/week, where students participate in project-based learning guided by their own interests. We have been open 5 years; we have received an A rating for the past 2 years and are classified as a "school in good standing."
I do not have an art classroom; I wheel a large cart to each room, with 2 minutes for travel and 42 minutes to teach; I see each class 1x/week. I have designed a 3-tiered curriculum, allowing students to have a progressive, interconnected 9-year experience of the visual arts (K-2, fine arts; 3-5 world crafts; 6-8 applied design), learning a different facet of each tier. The 8th graders study 2-D design and stop-frame animation (which includes photography). Our school has been hit with a $450,000 decrease in budget over the last 2 years of operation, resulting in a $0 arts budget for supplies. This will be the first year that I've implemented the animation program, and the incoming 8th grade students have unanimously requested clay-mation. The clay-mation project will allow them to experience script-writing, understand the importance of plot, character development, and creating a setting for the action. It will allow them the experience of bringing their words to life. They will use cameras for filming and computers for editing and refining. This is the first time that any of them have had this opportunity in our school.
I am requesting approximately 3 lbs of clay in 8 colors color for each classroom, as well as containers for storage. As I lack a classroom, project storage has been an ongoing issue for all of my classes, especially for 3D projects; in the case of clay-mation, the characters will need to be kept in air tight containers from week to week until we are done creating and filming. This process could take 2-3 months of work. Most of the students have held a camera before, but have never learned how to creatively use it as a tool. Over the years, lack of storage has prevented us from experiencing 3-D sculpture. As well, this will be the first time they will learn the process of creating a movie, as well as learning how to edit and create an audio-track. While the majority will not go on to be animators as adults, these kind of projects employ higher-level critical thinking skills and cross-curricular knowledge - learning how to think creatively and use their entire wealth of knowledge will only strengthen them intellectually across the academic board.
Your help will provide the students with the clay needed for their clay-mation characters, and the proper storage equipment to keep their work safe over the 2 -3 month period we are working on this project.
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