Skip to main content

The City Journals

Draper Elementary Awarded Art Grant

Sep 08, 2015 03:46PM ● By Bryan Scott


By Julie Slama

Draper - Draper Elementary students will have art lessons integrated into their studies, thanks to the school being awarded a Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program grant.

“With the support of the (Canyons School) District, the program provides us with a certified teacher who has a secondary art endorsement to integrate art and support our curriculum,” Draper Elementary Principal Piper Riddle said. “This art program will be supported by our community.”

The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program is a teaching partnership between highly qualified arts specialists and classroom teachers in more than 100 Utah elementary schools. Working with the classroom specialist, the arts specialist will give students arts instruction that ties into the state’s fine arts core curriculum. 

This fall, Arts Specialist Kylie Welling will teach Draper Elementary’s first- through fifth-grade students in the school kiva about art techniques and principles, and at the same time reinforce what they are learning in the classroom. She will share the kiva with the school’s music program.

Last year, nine schools within Canyons District received the Sorenson grant. This year, 21 elementary schools and Jordan Valley School received the award. Draper Elementary was the only Draper school in Canyons District to receive it, Canyons School District Arts Coordinator Sharee Jorgensen said.

“I’m really excited that so many schools will be offering art in the curriculum this year,” she said. “I’m thrilled the legislature supports giving students this opportunity.”

Riddle said the program provides training for new teachers in August at the Utah State Office of Education, which Welling will take part in. 

Jorgensen, who said the grant pays about 80 percent of Welling’s salary while the District picks up the remainder and supplies, said that the training will provide her ways where she can use topics and lesson plans to cover core curriculum.

With the grant, Jorgensen said students study art history and learn different art techniques, which could include clay, watercolor, pastels, oils, metal tooling and more, but that all the projects tie directly into the school curriculum.

An example she gave is that the students may study a certain artist, but then be asked to critique his or her artwork, either verbally or in an essay. This uses written and oral language skills and the ability to compare and contrast works. 

Jorgensen said the Sorenson program not only brings music, visual arts, dance and theatre back into the classroom, but it also integrates it with language arts, math, social studies and science, so it will reinforce the classroom core and provide students with a deeper level of understanding in grade-level core content that will enrich the learning experience.

In addition to art concentration, other district schools opted for dance, theater and music emphases.