Students at Rees Elementary attended an assembly on Friday, October 14 to celebrate what they had learned from the previous two weeks during Artists in Residence. It was an afternoon of dancing, singing, dramatic performances, storytelling, visual artworks, and an overall appreciation for Native American art and culture. Well known artists came from miles around to teach the students in these art forms for 50 minutes each day for two weeks. By the time the assembly came, students were eager to share the skills and knowledge they gained.
The hallways of Rees were lined with watercolor and pastel art as well as crafts, such as pouches, dreamcatchers, and teepees. One group of fifth and sixth grade students created puppet theaters and shows to represent different Native American tribes. These puppet shows were presented to first grade classes before Friday's assembly. During the assembly, students from the dance classes shared the hoop dances as well as the eagle dance and jingle dance. The music students performed several songs, one with sign language accompaniment they had memorized. The theater students presented two stories that told of Native American folklore.
The arts have an important part in learning and education. The faculty at Rees Elementary understand this and seek opportunities to bring art education and events to our school. We hope that students will walk away from this experience with greater art skills in addition to all of the other benefits that arts education provides.