Elementary art students connect with their community

This year the Lincoln Public Schools art curriculum revolves around three central themes that very much define the past year: interconnections, resiliency and home. For the interconnections theme, elementary school students recently created thank you cards for community members considered essential to our daily lives, including firefighters, police officers, nurses, garbage collectors and road crews.

LPS Art Curriculum Specialist Lorinda Rice said students first created “mind maps” in which they brainstormed the different people in their neighborhoods who are caring and contribute to our quality of life in Lincoln.

“The updated art curriculum looks to students’ personal experiences as an entry point for art making, showcasing the diverse ways we all experience the world,” she said. “Art teachers are helping students notice the beauty in the similarities and differences of each encounter. By sharing as a group, students are able to expand their thinking, connecting to similar experiences and becoming aware of new ideas or ways of looking at the world.”

The response from card recipients has been overwhelming, Rice said, with some people saying the gesture brought tears to their eyes. Someone from the City of Lincoln Transportation and Utilities wrote back and said copies of their cards were distributed throughout the department. The message finished with, “Thank you and your wonderful, creative students.”

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office gave Elliott Elementary School students a shout-out on its Facebook page: “Thank you so much Elliott Elementary for sharing the love.”

“In such a challenging time in our lives,” Rice said, “these themes and lessons have supported our students to look beyond the struggle to find the good in the world - a reminder of what Mr. Rogers taught us many years ago.”

Published: March 16, 2021, Updated: March 16, 2021

An example of a