Kindergarten through fifth-grade students at Dr. Gerald H. Woehr Elementary and New Egypt Primary schools combine art, character education, writing, and film-making into a service learning project thanks to their teachers and a grant from NJEA. Teachers Rita R. Williams and Brad Mogol of the Plumsted Township School District in Ocean County were awarded $5,000 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education for this service learning project.
The mission of “Blue Skies” brings the bright and colorful art of children, their writings and their voices into chemotherapy rooms, emergency rooms, medical waiting areas, and other spaces of crisis where people are in need of positive thoughts and hope for the future. Student artwork and writings are compiled into large books and placed in waiting areas for people to enjoy. Student works are framed and donated. Students learn how to create digital art galleries of their work.
Each student learns how to operate a small hand-held video camera to record themselves creating artwork. They learn to edit and create a DVD which is donated in conjunction with the art books to view on the waiting room televisions.
Each child participates in the making of two documentary style films (one for K-1, and one for 2-5) using the small video cameras. Fourth- and fifth- grade students have more responsibility in the creation and editing of these films.
Two evening family events are held where families learn how they can serve in the community.
This project is easily replicable and valuable for students of all ages.
If you're interested in learning more about Blue Skies, feel free to read Rita's Final Report.
For further information, contact:
Rita R. Williams
School – (609) 758-6800