Clark State College, Springfield Promise Neighborhood and the Springfield Museum of Art partnered with Lincoln Elementary School in Springfield for an interactive Meet Your Teacher event on August 22.
“As an open access institution, we are proud to serve our community and work with amazing partners like Springfield Museum of Art and Springfield Promise,” said Dr. Dawayne Kirkman, vice president of student affairs at Clark State.
Kirkman estimates that up to 80 families were reached at the event. Clark State career services, admissions and counseling services attended the event and provided activities for the students including an Art Smart Moment with watercolors and helping students create a resumé. Clark State will return to Lincoln in October for another event and students will be able to “dress up for their future.”
“The community is part of Clark State’s history,” says Kirkman. “We belong to our community and want to best serve our current, future and prospective students.”
Amy Korpieski, education coordinator at the Springfield Museum of Art, said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State, is a champion of art, creativity, the museum and the arts in Springfield.
“I wanted to make sure that Clark State was a good neighbor to the children growing up in Springfield, particularly on the south side, where our main campus is located,” said Blondin. “I had a vision of engagement for children and families that would include exposure to the multiple resources and frankly fun things to do in Springfield, such as visit and feel welcome at the Springfield Museum of Art. The partnership then evolved to create this incredible collaboration with the Art Museum and the Springfield Promise.”
At the Meet Your Teacher event, Lincoln Elementary students were also able to create a hands-on art project from polymer clay. The finished artwork will be kiln fired and displayed in the garden at the Springfield Museum of Art on September 25.
“It was a fabulous way to build a hands-on art experience for families to do that night that will then be featured at the Come Find Art! free family program at the museum,” said Korpieski.
Kali Lawrence, Executive Director of Springfield Promise Neighborhood says Springfield Promise Neighborhood is pleased to help build collaborations between community organizations and the families who live on the southside of Springfield.
“The rich history of the arts in Springfield, coupled with the numerous educational opportunities at Clark State, make for new and interesting programming focused on exploration of the arts overlapped with career-building,” said Lawrence. “We have a long history of partnership with Lincoln Elementary - with a new principal this year, and their close proximity to Clark State's campus, it made for an easy match.”
In October, Clark State will return to Lincoln Elementary for another event and offer students the chance to “dress up for the future.”
Clark State has worked previously with Springfield Promise and Lincoln Elementary hosting literacy camps and family college workshops.
“Lincoln Elementary has a long history of community partnerships in support of student success. It was a thrilling treat to be able to work with the Promise Neighborhood, Clark State, and The Springfield Museum of Art in order to enhance our back-to-school event,” said Patrick Smith, principal of Lincoln Elementary School. “Guests at the school were able to interact with a wide variety of community members, engage in art therapy, and make connections. Lincoln Elementary is both thankful and hopeful about the potentials of this partnership.”