Quincy Art Center delivers more than 1,000 art supply kits to area teachers

Quincy Art Center stART Delivery 2

Quincy Art Center director of education Rachel Roundtree, left, and instructor and program technician Zachery Lechtenberg, right, load boxes of art supplies that were delivered to schools in Quincy and rural Adams, Brown and Pike counties participating in the Art Center's stART program. | Photo courtesy of Quincy Art Center.

QUINCY — Quincy Art Center staff recently delivered more than 1,000 art supply kits to kindergarten through third-grade teachers in Quincy, rural Adams County, Brown County and Pike County. The kits are for teachers participating in the Art Center’s Starting with Art Initiative (stART).

Illinois does not require schools to provide visual art education for grades K-3. stART bridges that gap by providing schools with standard-based lesson plans and art supplies for free. The art lessons are taught by classroom teachers after they’ve received training by videos created by Rachel Roundtree, the Art Center’s director of education. After completion of the program, teachers are eligible to receive professional development credits.

Kelly Obert, a third-grade teacher at Lincoln-Douglas Elementary School in Quincy, is participating in the stART program.

In a press release, Obert said, “I have always been a lover of the arts, and I am a huge advocate for it. I try to always encourage my students to explore their creative side within our assignments. So many of my students are passionate about art, so to surprise them with an art lesson like this would be amazing. I love that (the Quincy Art Center) provides the knowledge needed for the lesson, and I’m excited to not only learn it myself but share and enjoy it with my student.”

Jessica Flynn, a third-grade teacher at Brown County Elementary School, agrees.

“We do not have an art teacher, and our students have not been exposed to any art instruction for the past two years. The part that is most exciting to me is that I have many students who are very interested and talented in art, and this will give them exposure and resources to explore that,” Flynn said.

The stART program was launched in 2007. It expanded this year from Quincy public and parochial schools to rural Adams, Pike, and Brown counties. There’s no cost for teachers to opt in to the program.

The stART program is made possible by the Tracy Family Foundation and a grant from the Community Endowment Fund and the Noma Meyers Eaton Fund through the Community Foundation. It is also funded by the Samantha Otte Fund through the Community Foundation, Quincy Noon Kiwanis, Gem City Breakfast Kiwanis, the Breakfast Optimist Club of Quincy, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and from other individual donations.

For more information about the stART program, visit quincyartcenter.org or call Roundtree at 217-223-5900.

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