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MOV Parent: ArtCart expansion continues

The ArtCart Program

The ArtCart Program will continue its 5th grade expansion this year making the necessary adjustments depending on school codes.

ArtCart will be teaching in all 15 schools without art instruction in every 4th and 5th grade class. ArtCart Program Creator and Director Kate Hushion graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA and received her Masters 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.

The ArtCart Program was created as a pilot for one school five years ago in hopes to bring awareness to the importance of arts education and provide the opportunity for creativity to underserved elementary schools in the Wood County area. It has grown exponentially each year and will teach almost 2,000 kids this school year and be in over 70 elementary classrooms, a huge accomplishment and validation for the impact arts education is making on our young kids and their teachers.

Hushion is now dedicating her full time 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 has hired three new teachers to help with the added 5th grade. The instructors are divided into teams by grade level, 4th grade instructors, Sarah Hoye, Kylie Lallemont, and Katelyn Smith and fifth grade instructors, Beth Strobl, Michelle Waters, and Kimberly Griffey.

The ArtCart’s mission remains student centered, allowing kids chances for creative growth, building self confidence, cultivating socio-emotional 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 that this year’s art education will provide a much-needed outlet for students to express themselves during complicated times.

The ArtCart Program addition is made possible by donations from Wood County Board of Education, The Spartan Foundation, PARS Foundation, Artsbridge, The McDonough Foundation, The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, The Parkersburg Community Foundation, and The Parkersburg Women’s Club. If you wish donate to the program you can give to Artsbridge with a memo directed towards The ArtCart Program and help us expand for the 2021-2022 school year! All donations will go towards instructor fees and art supplies for the schools. Thank you for supporting early childhood arts education!

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Amanda Stevens is the president of Artsbridge in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

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