Grant provides age-old craft to AES students

Published 11:28 am Friday, September 24, 2010

AHOSKIE – School work is much more than reading, writing and arithmetic and students at Ahoskie Elementary School will soon discover that fact.

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the North Carolina Arts Council (Artist Residency program), AES students will gain insight to the world of art.

The funds will be used to support Victoria Sowers, a fiber artist from Rocky Mount.  This grant will allow students to have the hands-on experience of using a 300-year-old floor loom.  Not only will students learn about art, but this project also integrates core subjects such as social studies and language arts.  Students will create a tapestry that will be displayed in the school.

“I am so excited for our students to be exposed to a new and unique in-depth weaving project,” said Ahoskie Elementary School Principal Stan Warren.  “Our students will not only benefit artistically, but will integrate social studies, math and language art skills into this project.”

Warren added that witnessing an age-old art form such as loom weaving is something that very few in the local area have ever experienced. He expects this project to boost the self-esteem of the AES students as well as creating a sense of pride.

“I am very proud of Mrs. Robin Copeland for the effort and energy she provides for our students in searching our new and innovative ideas for our students,” Warren noted.

Last year, Ahoskie Elementary provided programming for more than five hundred students.  A highlight of that programming is providing rich cultural art experiences for all students.  It is important at Ahoskie Elementary School that each student is able to express themselves creatively through our art program.

“The support of our grants program by the General Assembly during these economically challenging time demonstrates the role the arts play in our economy and our quality of life,” said Mary B. Regan, executive director of the N.C. Art Council.  “Nonprofit art organizations employ workers, stimulate commerce, generate tax revenues and help communities retain their vibrancy.”

More than 13.6 million people participated in N.C. Arts Council-funded projects last year in schools, senior centers, museums, concert halls and community centers.  Nearly 4.3 million of these were children and youth.

The N.C. Arts Council awards grant money each year to provide diverse arts experiences for citizens in all 100 counties of North Carolina.  In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Arts Council is expected to distribute $7.4 million in state and federal grant funds to arts organizations, schools and other nonprofit organizations that sponsor art programs.