Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Start with the Arts Alexander

The Alexander County Partnership for Children is the recipient of a Grant from the Lego Children’s Fund, Enfield, CT. This $5,000 grant received by the Partnership will be used to implement “Start with the Arts Alexander”, a free preschool arts program.

Alexander County Partnership for Children is pleased to have secured local artist Martha Burgin to conduct the art sessions for children. With over 20 years of experience as an art teacher Martha brings a wealth of experience and creativity to the program. Martha is affiliated with the Hiddenite Center. She provides art lessons through the Hiddenite Center along with Art After School, Kids Summer Art classes, and educational outreach programs in local schools. When asked about the Start with the Arts Alexander program, Martha expressed her excitement to be a part of an Arts Program that incorporates all aspects of the Arts. “Parents will not want to miss this marvelous opportunity for young children. This program will help prepare children for kindergarten.”

Using the Start with the Arts Program developed by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the coordinator will follow a curriculum to introduce the participating children to visual arts, creative drama, creative movement, and music with a literacy enhancement component. Sessions will include themes that allow participating children to receive take home materials to extend the session into their home with parental support. Parents and children will participate in each session together.

According to Susan Cogdill, Executive Director of Alexander County Partnership for Children, “The Arts are an important component of preschool development. The preschool years can influence a child’s interest in the Arts. The Lego Children’s Fund will provide children throughout the county with an opportunity to experience a meaningful program and introduction to the Arts that will carry over to the elementary years and beyond.”

The Start with the Arts Program will use several factors to reach children effectively and enrich their learning experiences. The arts are inherently motivating and critical to the development of cognitive, linguistic, motor, social, and emotional skills. The arts are a natural means for enriching children’s lives with contributions from many cultures and ethnic origins. The arts, focused with a theme approach, work well with most early childhood programs. The arts and literacy are natural partners. Arts activities and arts learning should be continued and extended to the home environment.

At the conclusion of the Start with the Arts Alexander Program a Children’s Start with the Arts Alexander Festival showcasing children’s art work along with opportunities for children to perform creative movement, drama and music activities will be held.

An eight week session of Start with the Arts Alexander will begin in January 2010 and will be held at the Alexander County Partnership for Children office, 1565 Highway 90 West, Taylorsville. Registration is currently being conducted for this free program. Interested parents are asked to register by calling the 828-632-3799 to receive a registration form or by emailing