PTO art docents lead Rehoboth Elementary School students in hands-on architecture lesson

January 17, 2014
Students (l-r) in Jill Silicato’s third-grade class show the arch they constructed using the same principles of design as a Roman arch:  Ricky Loveland, Malia Maricle, Vir’mya Heath, Isaac League, Charles Casas (lying down), Alfredo Flores-Lopez, Lilley McDonald, Brady Lamb, Hannah Hazzard, Nolan Hilton, Evan Geissinger, Dylan Fannin, Jasmine Finney, Morgan Dawson, Kayla Reid, Jocelyne Sanchez-Pena and Tomie Hykes. SOURCE SUBMITTED

Pillars and arches and aqueducts, oh my! Not typical topics of discussion in an elementary classroom, but that’s exactly what volunteers in the school's PTO Art Docent Program are bringing each month to students at Rehoboth Elementary School this year.

“We try to simplify the definitions of these larger terms, and that certainly helps [the students] to grasp the ideas more,” Liz Evans, Art Docent Program volunteer and mom said of her experience in a kindergarten classroom. “For example, last month we talked about the styles of the pillars being ‘plain, fancy, and fanciest’ when discussing the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian styles of architecture.”

“They remembered terms they learned last month, and many participated in answering questions and participated in discussion this month,” said Art Docent volunteer Janette Uffelman. “Their love of learning and enthusiasm are contagious!”

The Art Docent Program was started several years ago by PTO volunteer Vicki Taylor. The subsequent addition of new classroom technology, such as SMART Boards and projectors, presented new opportunities for then-program coordinator Liza Dolan.

"She updated lessons and made it into what it is today," said current program coordinator Nelia Dolan. “We have six lessons a year starting in October - we skip December and DCAS month - and a yearly review and art contest in May and June. Each lesson is composed of a visual lesson and an art project of some sort. For me, the most important part of the program is exposing students to art in a way that may encourage them to walk into a museum later in life. Not all kids have a facility for art, but appreciation for art can be shared by everyone.”


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