WAYNESBURG – The fifth-grade students of West Greene School District were out in force May 16 for the opening of their art show Pioneer Legacy at Waynesburg University Stover Hall Gallery.
Framed photos hung in the gallery and were spilled into the hall where refreshments were being served. Parents, grandparents, teachers and friends oohed and aahed over the photographs, taken this school year with iPads, then turned into works of art as students changed colors, cropped and finally turned in their images of the grade schools they will soon leave behind as they move to middle school.
Elementary art teacher Adrienne Day was there with her family, beaming with pride as her students’ work was admired.
“Supporting young children in the arts is a universal effort that is so important to me. It is astonishing what 9-and 10-year-old children are capable of when they are given the right tools, creative freedom and artistic guidance,” Day said.
Pioneer Legacy is a project Day implemented with her fifth-grade art students to document their school life at Graysville and New Freeport elementary schools. West Greene is in the process of building a new elementary school as part of the district’s campus and these old schools will soon be no more.
What Day’s fifth-grade classes have done for the last two years is preserve their memories for future generations to enjoy. The project to buy iPads for students was funded by the Community Foundation of Greene County and also by West Greene School District, that pitched in to buy enough iPads for both schools after Day received a grant from the foundation.
“We’re from Central Greene but we read about the exhibit and wanted to see it,” Cliff Whyte said. His daughters, second-grader Anna and third-grader Carly, were already busy exploring the iPads as their dad and grandmother, Carlotta Whyte, looked on.
Having those from other schools come to see the exhibit was just what Day was hoping for.
“It is important to showcase the results of this photography project in a venue outside our district, somewhere accessible to the community for an extended period of time. I feel it is worthwhile for parents, community members, educators and arts patrons to stop by the exhibit at Waynesburg University to support the work of not just our students, but all young students engaged in art. As parents and educators, it is our responsibility to support that growth and one way to do that is by visiting our exhibit, which will be up until June 5.”