RoxArts funds art kits for kindergartners
Back-to-school season just became a little more joyful, thanks in part to RoxArts in Tiger Nation, the nonprofit organization whose mission is to supplement arts and science education for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has interfered with students participating in hands-on art and science projects, RoxArts board members decided to help children keep art “front and center” during these challenging times.
The organization has funded the purchase of 800 new art kits, to be distributed to every kindergarten student in the district by the start of school. Every kit includes a book, paper, stationery, markers, chalk pastels, and stickers. The kits were made possible with support from Alexander Hanna, Faber Castell, Scholastic, and JakPrints.
With the help of local teen volunteers, more than 400 kits were distributed this past spring and summer, at meal pickups at Noble, Boulevard, Oxford and Fairfax elementary schools, as well as at Zagara's Marketplace. The remaining 400 will be distributed, with Tiger Nation kindergarten yard signs, to eligible families.
As students and families navigate the online learning experience this September, these kits will enable kids to have an outlet for artistic expression. No online sessions are needed for children to draw a picture, or practice writing numbers, letters and words.
RoxArts also is working collaboratively with the district's music and art teachers to reach elementary school students at home, throughout the district. This fall, the group plans to purchase sketchbooks for all students in grades K–5, music kits with rhythm instruments for those in grades K–2, and recorders for students in grades 3–5.
“When children are given the resources, space, and free time to dabble in arts and sciences, they grow as learners,” said Rosemary Pierce, president of RoxArts' governing board.
This parent-led group has funded artists-in-residence programs, assemblies, field trips, and projects involving the arts. Funds raised at its annual spring benefit are used to award grants to teachers, to keep these programs viable. The organization continues to grow and evolve, most recently by responding to the community’s desire for a more unified and inclusive approach to equitable access to the funds raised. Now all elementary- and middle-school teachers, grades K–8, are eligible for program funding.
To learn more about RoxArts, watch the video at www.roxarts.org. A complete listing of the RoxArts-sponsored artist residencies, art activities, science enrichment, and capital improvements can be found on the website's About Us page.
Andrea C. Turner
Andrea C. Turner is the owner of ACT One Communications, LLC, a marketing communications consulting firm based in Cleveland Heights. She is a RoxArts board member.