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Category Archives: After-School

New World Kids at Smith Elementary

by Cassie Swayze, Programs Assistant

Earlier this month I had the privilege of visiting Christin Davis’ kindergarten and first grade classes at Smith Elementary. Using the New World Kids curricula this semester, Miss Christin’s students are exploring the sensory alphabet which includes:

  • Line
  • Shape
  • Space, color
  • Rhythm
  • Light, sound
  • Texture
  • Movement

We discussed Color by learning what a collage is and making original collages out of magazines. Miss Christin invited me to speak briefly as an informal Guest Artist about my own collages. Then together we guided her students to create unique collages.

The kindergarten class created collages using one color: red race cars, brick buildings, and apples cut out of magazines combined to make new designs. Miss Christin’s class of first graders was prompted to illustrate something they did that day or how they were feeling. It was an opportunity to reflect while showing what they learned from our discussion of Color. There were a few collages that stood out: one student used only triangles to illustrate her collage while another explored different types of lines found in various magazines. It was interesting to see different parts of the Sensory Alphabet present in these images.

I learned that I can do whatever I want with my imagination.

As we wrap up this year, I am thrilled to see our New World Kids classrooms’ work this semester, including the collages we made at Smith, displayed in galleries at their respective sharings. The entire Sensory Alphabet will be represented in their galleries, an exciting exploration of creative thinking.

About Creative Action’s After School Program:

  • 82% of students felt they could use art to express themselves
  • 97% reported that they kept trying to figure things out until they understand them

Bagavagabonds and Creative Action: “Produce with a Purpose Day” Project in Austin

Bagavagbonds artists visited Manor Middle School yesterday to work with Creative Action teaching artist Will Heath and his students on murals to be displayed at Art Migration Austin (presented by smart USA) in a couple days (read more about the Art Migration event here).

Read the rest of the article: http://bagavagabonds.tumblr.com

Creativity Unleashers

by Sarah Rinner, Elementary School Program Director

Shout out to Creative Action in the Austin Chronicle here!

I couldn’t resist the temptation to share my surprise and joy at reading about us. And in such a fitting category! We were named Creativity Unleashers, which is super cool. Let me tell you a few ways that we are doing this in our after school classes:

  • Rubber bands and oatmeal cans make great guitars;
  • We take the Magic Sidewalk when we go to Sillytown;
  • Students can decide their sculptures should raise money for a good cause;
  • Our teachers are more than artists: they are mad scientists, musicians, masters of magic and movie-makers;
  • Students are challenged to find real solutions to relevant challenges;
  • And because a roll of tape can be so much more than just a roll of tape.

That’s the great thing about unleashing student creativity–you don’t always know where they will take you, but it is an unforgettable journey!

New World Kids Engages Children with Creative Thinking

by Sarah Rinner, Elementary School Program Director

Creative Action is implementing a new class into our programming, New World Kids.  We were fortunate to work with the creators of this program in August where 16 of our teaching artists were trained on the New World Kids (NWK) curriculum for 4 – 6 year olds.  NWK engages children with the creative thinking process by exploring the Sensory Alphabet, including:

  • Line
  • Shape
  • Rhythm
  • Space
  • Color, and more.

The program helps develop students’ skills in symbolizing, understanding and communicating ideas through various art and digital media. Throughout the program, our teaching artists document students’ creative works and share their discoveries with parents during a final exhibition of art.  This program is being offered to the Gullett Elementary pre-K students as part of our larger afterschool program, as well as a few other pre-K afterschool classes at AISD campuses.

P.S. Today, my favorite kind of pie is homemade apple pie, warm out of the oven.

Join us at I Spy Pie! on Saturday, October 20th at Central Market North. 12 – 3 p.m.
Family fun, arts and crafts and pie for families of all ages!

Want to volunteer? Sign up here for 1 or 2 (or both) shifts:  I Spy Pie! Volunteer Sign Up.

After School Volunteering Opportunity

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

Creative Action needs superstar After-School volunteers to assist Teaching Artists in the classroom throughout the school year. Do you love working artistically, helping students, or need a new challenge? This is a great opportunity for students of many disciplines: education, theatre, social work, art, humanities and more!

Volunteering with the Creative Action After-School program entails a once a week commitment in a dynamic after-school class exploring social themes through theatre, art, music, and puppets. As a volunteer you act as an extra pair of hands for one of our Teaching Artists (TAs) in the classroom throughout the Fall semester (September – mid-December). The hours are generally 2:30-5:30PM or 3-6PM weekly. After-School volunteers assist in a wide variety of activities:

  • Prepping art projects
  • Helping film movies
  • Leading games
  • And much, much more!

Here’s what past volunteers said about working with the After-School program:

  • “I loved volunteering at Ojeda. I think I learned more from the kids. The more valued they feel, the more invested they are in the program. [Creative Action] validates these kids’ personal experiences and gives them value.”
  • “One thing I really noticed when working with first graders was how [Creative Action] contributed to their teamwork and sharing…The activities and projects resulted in emerging leadership and individual creativity as the kids began to trust each other, the teacher and their own strengths and abilities.”

Creative Action has after-school programming at over 40 different campuses throughout Austin, Round Rock, Del Valle, Manor, and Bastrop school districts.

Contact Cassie Swayze at cassie@theatreactionproject.org or call (512) 442-8773 x107 for more information or set up an orientation.

UPDATE: Theatre Action Project is now Creative Action. Read more about our name change.