On June 8th, students from Waverly Elementary/Middle School gathered with their families, community members, and local artists at the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation for a special gallery exhibit and art auction.
This past winter, Anne Stick, a tutor at Waverly, was attending a Parent Teacher Organization meeting when she was inspired by a group of students who came to advocate for themselves. “The students stood up at the meeting and asked for art classes” she recalled, and they were told that would only be possible if there were volunteers to run it and donations to provide the supplies. That’s when Anne and GHCC’s Community School Site Coordinator, Christine Garrett, jumped into action.
Anne, who is an artist herself specializing in print making, was excited about the idea of bringing her passion for art to her neighborhood school, and recruited a cadre of volunteers from her church, The Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, to staff the program and support it financially. Christine went to work to ensure that all the program management was taken care of; liaising with school administration, running a volunteer training, and working with Anne on the program development. Together they created a full semester long after school arts program for Waverly middle school students.
The program consisted of four different themes: print making, ceramics, computer graphics, and paper mache. Anne developed the curriculum and Utrecht Arts store generously donated supplies for the classes. Wanting to give the students a sense of the impact art can have on their own community, Anne recruited four local artists, Sam Christian Homes, Kylis Winborne, Ursala Minervini, and Greg Otto (a Waverly alum), to be guest teachers.
The program was a huge success, and though it was created for middle schoolers, it ended up welcoming a number of little siblings from the elementary school as well. The class met biweekly during the 8 week spring session and enrolled 23 students. Next year, Ann and Christine plan to expand the program to offer multiple classes for both middle and elementary school students.
The exhibit sold all of the more than 50 original pieces at the Cathedral that night, and the students decided that the proceeds will be used to support program’s continuation and expansion in the fall.