By Heather Zimar
Caroline Elementary School fifth-graders are completing a new mural that combines art and social studies and will serve as an educational resource for the entire school community.
Supported by an IPEI Teacher Grant, the project “Where in the World Do We Live” was designed by ICSD art teacher Kerri Burke and community artist Mary Beth Ihnken to illustrate in detail where Caroline is located relative to the world. Fifth-grade classes have been studying local, national and international maps to help design, compose, and paint the 48-foot long, 3.5-foot tall mural in one of the school’s hallways.
The mural includes Caroline and its Wilderness Campus, images of the Finger Lakes region, and then progresses to geographical and political representations of New York State, the United States and, finally, the world. It “pictorially demonstrates (as children pass by daily) their relationship to a larger world,” Burke and Ihnken stated in their grant application.
“The use of art to enhance student engagement creates a positive social and academic environment,” they said. Students are also learning how art can build community and convey information to large groups of people.
IPEI Teacher Grants are awards up to $1,500 for projects that fund teacher’s great ideas involving community partners and aligning with NYS Learning Standards.
IPEI is a not-for-profit organization that connects the Ithaca City School District and the community through collaboration, engagement, gifts and grants. For more information, see www.ipei.org or contact 256-IPEI (4734) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Heather Zimar