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High School students get creative with elementary students

February 17, 2018

OAK HILL, W.Va. (AP) — Paintings of snowmen lined cafeteria tables at Rosedale Elementary school Tuesday as Oak Hill High School students sat side-by-side working one-on-one with the younger students to take part in a guided painting class.

Each OHHS art student was paired up with at least one elementary student to take part in a guided painting activity where students painted a winter scene.

On each canvas board, elementary students placed their painted handprint on the back for their loved ones to see before they began plastering their boards with colors of white and blue to do their rendition of a wintery scene.

“This is such a great role modeling event,” Title I Reading Specialist Michelle Craddock said. “We are trying to make sure the high school students are college and career ready, and this was a good opportunity to get them to interact with those younger than them.”

Students of all elementary grades were able to participate in the guided painting course, and according to James Ludwig, the whole activity was “really fun.”

James, a Rosedale fourth grader, said art class is always really fun, so this was a cool activity to do with the high school students.

“I really like to being able to learn things from the older kids,” he said. “Having them help me with something I am interested in was really cool.”

Johvon Davis chimed in with agreement. “I look up to the high school students,” he said. “They are really good at art.”

Johvon, also a fourth grader, said you don’t have to be the best at art to have a good time during the event. He said it’s all about getting to hang out with role models.

“They are really cool, and having them come in and help teach us how to paint was just really cool.”

Although many of Rosedale students do not have the best home life, according to the school’s art teacher Kimberly Sexton, giving them one-on-one bonding time with high school students gives them interaction they may not be able to have elsewhere.

Sexton called the directive painting course “phenomenal.”

“This is a time in these young children’s lives where looking towards role models is crucial,” she said. “Not only are the elementary kids loving it, but this is puts a huge impact on the high school students as well.”

Avery Miller has always had a passion for art, she said, and it is an activity that consumes most of her life.

“I spend most of time drawing and painting,” Miller said. “They’re two of the things I love the most.”

Miller, an OHHS art student, said a lot of children don’t have the ability to learn about or take part in art-related activities, so for her, being a mentor for the directive painting course was a wonderful experience.

“A lot of them don’t have the best home life so I think it’s good to come out here and be able to spread the joy of creativity and teach them how to have fun while expressing themselves,” she said.

OHHS art teacher Michelle Pettry said she could not be more proud of her students for taking their time to work one-on-one with younger students.

Pettry claimed although her students were taking the time to teach those younger than them, the elementary students have also brought many of her students out of their shells.

“It’s just been a great experience,” she said. “They feel like they are making a difference, and that’s because they are.”

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Information from: The Register-Herald, http://www.register-herald.com

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