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Richmond art teacher unleashes students' at-home creativity

Posted at 8:25 AM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 08:28:53-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Art teacher Julie Crowder is keeping in touch with her students from William Fox Elementary and others through her “From The Art Room” blog.

"Being away from them has been different for me personally,” Ms. Crowder said, “but it's also different not knowing how they're doing."

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In her daily lessons, the Richmond art teacher asks kids to use materials they might have in the family recycling bin or from stuff their parents might have around the house.

“We did one where we were painting with coffee because I believe their parents are probably drinking coffee right now. I believe they might have a plastic bottle in the recycling bin,” she said.

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Staying up on all subjects is good, but Ms. Crowder believes art is especially important right now.

"Not because you're going to make the greatest art you've ever made in your life, but because you can completely forget your anxiety that you're having and the worries that you're having about what's going on in the world around us, which is giving everybody anxiety,” she said.

And there are educational benefits.

"Art, in general, teaches kids that there's multiple answers for things, multiple ways to solve things. Any given problem that we give them, there could be 25 different artistic solutions in their room and none of them would be wrong,” she said.

Even though they're not in a classroom together, Ms. Crowder can see her kids are learning and being engaged.

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"I got a video from a kid that was doing the stop motion that I just did. And that was special because not only did they do the stop motion video, but they also made the playdough. There were two parts to that blog."

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