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Eastside Elementary artfully eases into Reflections program

Anita Smothers points out a picture to her son, Trent, 9, at an art display at Eastside Elementary School in Brooksville. Trent, a third-grader, drew flowers in a vase and likes using crayons.

PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE | Special to the Times

Anita Smothers points out a picture to her son, Trent, 9, at an art display at Eastside Elementary School in Brooksville. Trent, a third-grader, drew flowers in a vase and likes using crayons.

BROOKSVILLE — The Eastside Elementary School PTA is in its second year and is attempting to involve the school in the National PTA Reflections Program, which encourages student expression with recognition and awards.

Not quite making this year's deadline, the PTA decided to jump-start next year's effort by sponsoring a small school-based art event.

"We want to get projects into it next year," said PTA president Richard Shellenbarger. "This is our first attempt at this. We hope to have something we can build on next year."

The PTA called on art teacher Stephanie Hembd, 35, to help. The Reflections Program, which includes several art forms, settles on a theme each year. This year's theme was "Beauty Is ..."

She talked with her students about beauty and they came up with sunsets, flowers and horses. They had limited time, so Hembd selected some of the children's wall-ready drawings and pulled some from her students' Roman architecture works.

The result was an hour with art in the school cafeteria recently with the PTA providing refreshments. Colors covered the walls.

"We're just trying to put on a little art show for the kids," Shellenbarger said. "I would do it bigger next year."

Bonnie Townsend is PTA vice president for membership at Eastside. She says the art show is a way for children to be expressive. "For kids, it's hard to get their feelings out and communicate, and this is a way to communicate with art."

Townsend's first-grade daughter, Olivia, 6, didn't have a picture in the show but said she likes to do her artwork with markers. She likes to draw hearts.

Pat and Teresa Vettin were at the show with their fifth-grader, Brett, 10, and third-grader Erica, 8.

Brett's drawing was one of the Roman architecture drawing collection. He prefers a more tactile medium. "I love working with clay," he said. "It's easy to mold."

"He made a big pumpkin out of clay," his father said.

Erica drew a purple vase with roses in it. She likes clay, too, but also enjoys using colored pencils. Erica likes to draw horses. "She puts a lot of detail into her work," Teresa Vettin said.

Fourth-grader Miranda Shellenbarger, 9, drew a butterfly. She likes art.

"That's something me and my mom look forward to," she said. "My dad's good at math." She prefers oils and pastels. "Those two are the only two I love to paint with or draw anything."

Anita Smothers was at the school with her third-grader, Trent, 9. Trent drew flowers in a vase and likes using crayons. Mom said the display was "awesome, very nice." She also appreciated the effort it took to put the show together. "It took time to set it up," she said.

Angela Bunting and her first-grader, Amelia, 6, came to see the art. Amelia's design had "hearts, squiggly lines and colors," she said. She likes using markers and crayons and drawing hearts, flowers, birds and people.

Bunting was enthusiastic about seeing the children's work. "I think it's beautiful," she said. "Art is something that stimulates your mind."

Eastside Elementary artfully eases into Reflections program 12/16/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 8:00pm]
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