Students at Lynn Camp Elementary School enjoyed a toe-tapping, knee-slapping journey through Appalachian history last week with a Teaching Art Together grant from the Kentucky Arts Council and match funds from the Berea College Full-Service Community Schools Program.
Visiting Artist Jennifer Rose Escobar from Berea led this week-long program (March 14-18) which featured students learning to sing Appalachian songs about mountain life, joining in various American singing games, and dancing Appalachian and early American folk dances.
“This has been such an engaging and entertaining way for our children to expand their knowledge and appreciation of our rich Appalachian culture,” said Missy May, art teacher at Lynn Camp Elementary. “The students have truly enjoyed this experience. Our teachers also learned activities and strategies to incorporate the arts into their everyday lessons from here forward.”
The week’s activities culminated with a performance by kindergarten, third and fifth grade students, who will showcase their newly acquired Appalachian talents to the rest of the school.
“This opportunity is for us to showcase our students’ new skills and knowledge not only enhances what the performers have learned, but also allows them to share with the other students who can learn from them. That’s a powerful way for our students to learn more about Appalachian culture,” said Nicki Hammons, assistant principal at Lynn Camp Elementary. “We are grateful for the opportunity to host an artist resident; this has had a positive impact on our entire school.”
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, supports this artist residency with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.