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ArtCart continues to expand its canvas

Artsbridge’s ArtCart program continues to expand in Wood County Schools. The program will be in all 15 schools without art instruction in every fourth and fifth grade class. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The ArtCart Program by Artsbridge will continue its fifth grade expansion this year, making any necessary adjustments depending on school codes, Artsbridge said Monday.

ArtCart will be teaching in all 15 schools in Wood County without art instruction in every fourth and fifth grade class.

ArtCart Program Creator and Director Kate Hushion graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor’s in fine arts and received her master’s in art and art education from Teachers College Columbia University. She is an artist and teacher who spent the last five years operating the program while teaching art at Parkersburg High School.

ArtCart was created as a pilot for one school five years ago in hopes of raising awareness of the importance of arts education and provide an opportunity for creativity to underserved elementary schools. It has grown each year and will teach almost 2,000 kids this school year and in more than 70 classrooms.

Hushion is dedicated to expanding the program further in hopes of reaching every elementary grade without arts education in Wood County and working with Artsbridge to continue its partnership with the program.

The ArtCart program in Wood County, an initiative through Artsbridge, brings art to elementary students who otherwise would not have the exposure. (Photo Provided)

ArtCart has hired three new teachers to help with the added fifth grade. Instructors are divided into teams by grade level, fourth grade instructors Sarah Hoye, Kylie Lallemont and Katelyn Smith and fifth grade instructors Beth Strobl, Michelle Waters and Kimberly Griffey.

The mission remains student-centered, allowing kids chances for creative growth, building self confidence, cultivating socioemotional awareness, practicing problem solving and learning fundamental art techniques. The support from the county, donors, teachers, administrators, and students has been tremendous and made the continued progression possible.

Hushion believes this year’s art education will provide a much-needed outlet for students to express themselves during complicated times.

ArtCart is made possible by donations from the Wood County Board of Education, the Spartan Foundation, PARS Foundation, Artsbridge, the McDonough Foundation, West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, Parkersburg Community Foundation and the Parkersburg Women’s Club. To donate and help expand for the 21-22 year, give to Artsbridge with a memo directed toward the ArtCart Program. All donations will go toward instructor fees and art supplies for the schools.

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