Johnson Center gifts budding artists with supplies

Published 11:12 pm Monday, October 28, 2013

Each year, The Messenger’s special publication, “Meet the Class of 2026” introduces the future high school graduates to the community and gives them an opportunity to voice their hopes for the future.

A group photo of each kindergarten class in all seven Pike County elementary schools is featured along with information about what each young student wants to be “when I grow up.”

As Morgan Drinkard, Johnson Center for the Arts executive director, and Wiley White, Center development director, were being “introduced’ to the Class of 2026, they noticed that six of the young students want to be “artists” when they grow up.

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“We were excited that, at such an early age, these children were interested in the arts and want to be artists when they grow up,” White said. “At the Johnson Center, we always encourage those who are interested in the arts to ‘do art.’ When we read that these children want to be artists, we wanted to recognize them and encourage them in some way.”

The Troy-Pike Cultural Arts Center and the Johnson Center for the Arts sponsor teacher workshops each summer. The workshops focus on ways to integrate art into the core curriculum.

Hands-on arts activities are included in the workshops.

“We had some art materials left over from our summer teacher workshops,” White said.

“So, as a way of encouragement, we decided to put those materials into individual packs and give them to the six kindergarten students who want to be artists when they grow up.”

The six kindergarten students are Gracie Smith, Sonjua Dorrill’s class at Banks Primary; Adilynn Ryan, Courtney Smyth’s class at Troy Elementary School; Khadasia Harris and Zariyah Jones, Sasha Tuck’s class at Pike County Elementary School; Paullina Juan Felix, Beverly Chance’s class, PCES; and Serenity Lee, Teresa Register’s class at Goshen Elementary School.

White said that art is linked to almost everything that people want for their children and demand from today’s schools – academic achievement, social and emotional development, community involvement and equal opportunities.