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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Walnut Elementary Receives Academic Art Grant

NEWS                                                                                    Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             880 S. Lemon Avenue
August 30, 2013                                                                   Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

Walnut Elementary Receives Target Grant for Academic Art Program

WALNUT, CA—Walnut Elementary School students will benefit from a $2,000 grant funded this month by the Target Corporation. The grant program is designed to support programs that help schools bring more arts and culture into classrooms.

Two years ago, parent Wendy Wu volunteered to teach a few art lessons in her son’s second grade class.  Principal Janet Green was so impressed with the lessons and artwork the students produced that she asked if Mrs. Wu would consider teaching a series of standards-based art lessons to upper grade students.   

She agreed and the Academic Art program at Walnut Elementary began. 

Lessons corresponded to the social studies and science curriculum, and beautiful artwork adorned the walls of the office and hallways. 

Last spring, Mrs. Green applied for Target’s Arts and Culture in Schools grant.   The school received the notice of approval on August 19.

This year, the education grant will enable the school to expand the unique art program to include ALL students in grades K-5.

“Walnut Elementary believes strongly in developing the whole child.  As a Title I school, some of our students do not take extracurricular visual and performing arts lessons. Therefore, we have tried to expand these opportunities for them in academic art and music during the school day.  With the focus on the new Common Core State Standards, art and music are integral to the development of student creativity,” said Principal Janet Green.

“I enjoy all the lessons that the students do in class,” said art teacher Wendy Wu who likes introducing new creative ideas to the children.

Wu said although it’s hard to choose a favorite art project from last year, it would be the Seahorse lesson.  

“Watercolor has always been one of my favorite mediums,” she said.

The grant is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to build strong, safe and healthy communities across the country. These efforts include Target’s long history of giving 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals more than $4 million every week. As part of this commitment, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015 to help kids learn, schools teach and parents and caring adults engage.

“At Target, we are committed to serving local communities where we do business,” said Laysha Ward, President, Community Relations, Target. “That’s why we are proud to partner with Walnut Elementary School as we work to strengthen communities and enrich the lives of our guests and team members.”


In the first grade art lesson, Walnut Elementary students painted images of panda bears on a bamboo mat material.  They first learned about basic shapes before applying this concept to create their paintings.  Acrylic paint was used in this lesson. 

Second grade students created a diorama of insects in their habitats. The box was made from foam core board and students made cutouts from construction paper.  Many students were very creative and made beautiful bees, ladybugs and butterflies. (Second grade Bug)

Third grade students were introduced to watercolor painting techniques.   This lesson was inspired by Eric Carl's "Mr. Seahorse" book.   Students drew and painted their own seahorses using a variety of colors. 

Walnut Elementary fourth graders learned about the famous American artist Grant Wood who was known for his American Gothic painting.  Students used tempera paint and created their own versions. 

The lesson for the fifth grade class was about Native American sand painting.  Students learned about the techniques that California Natives used to create their amazing art.  The class used methods similar to this to create their own sand paintings.