Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring Arts Festival Artist Spotlight -- Lenora Thomas

Be sure to see this artist and their fine artwork at the festival on April 23-25, 2009.

Lenora Thomas will be showcasing and selling her handmade collection of vintage clothes for children at this year’s Spring Arts Festival.

Lenora lives in Magnolia, Arkansas and is a first grade teacher in the Lafayette Country Schools.

A summer at Fashion Center in Honolulu, Hawaii was all it took to spur Lenora’s interest in sewing and designing clothing. With an Art Minor and an Elementary Education Degree, she continued to advance her studies getting a Masters in Elementary Education but still sewing and designing.

Her love of vintage fabric helps her incorporate it into clothing. The combination of fabrics, textures and colors make into a one of a kind outfit for girls whose grandmas and grandpas and many others can see and reminisce the linen pieces of their childhood.

Lenora’s vintage designs are sold in boutiques in Mississippi, North Carolina and Louisiana. She hopes to someday teach the “old” art of sewing to young children who in turn can further a creative path for enjoyment.

Lenora’s designs have been shown in Dallas and Mississippi and we are proud to be able to present her wonderful collection of vintage clothes at this year’s festival.

Spring Arts Festival Artist Spotlight -- Cindy Killgore

Be sure to see this artist and their fine artwork at the festival on April 23-25, 2009.

Cindy Killgore will be showcasing her extraordinary collection of pine needle baskets at this year’s Spring Arts Festival. Cindy is a native of Claiborne Parish and currently resides in New Iberia with her husband John.

She received her degree in Art Education from La. Tech. She taught in public schools before retiring in 2007.

She learned the fine art of pine needle basket making from Andrea Thompson, a Mississippi artist who taught a class at the library.

Cindy’s unique skill and artistry has sparked others to pick up the craft of basketry. “ A basket begins with a tiny coil called a worm. From the wee beginning, an adventure unfolds. It is always a mystery story that builds until it ends,” states Mrs. Killgore. “The most common question is, “how long did it take to make?” The answer is “As long as it took?” “The process is time consuming, but I never watch the clock. I find it soothing to the mind and the spirit, much like meditation. The work brings a great deal of personal satisfaction and inner peace for me.”

Cindy Killgore achieved the level of Master artist in the Louisiana Crafts Guild in 2008 and we are proud to be present her collection at this year’s festival.

Monday, February 9, 2009

This week at Richardson Elementary (Feb. 9)

Dee Scallan, teacher and author of Moby Pincher, instructed the children on the art of creative writing.

5th graders at Richardson Elementary started writing their books this week.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We Want to be Authors!!!

A one week hands on writing experience for elementary students.

5th grade students from Richardson Elementary School will be engaged in the art of creative writing by accomplished author and teacher, Dee Scallon. “Miss Dee” as she is most fondly known will take the children through a journey of discovery and creativity. They will create their own characters and together they will author their own book. Local artist, Chris Broussard, will accompany Mrs. Scallon and give instructional art time to the students while they create and illustrate the characters that will be included in their first book.

Once the writing and illustrations are complete, the book will be published. A hard copy will be presented to the school library as a gift from the students and soft back copies of the book will be made available free of charge to every participating 5th grader.

This project is being made possible by Cultural Crossroads of Minden. The project is being financed by the local arts organization and is being made available to Richardson School as a reward for having won “Most Talented School in Webster Parish” at last year’s annual Spring Arts Festival.

Moby Pincher Series author, Dee Scallan

Dee Scallan (, author of the Moby Pincher Series will provide a series of writing workshops in the elementary and middle schools. This “We Want to Be Authors” Project aligns with the Comprehensive Curriculum and requires parental involvement, has a cross-generational component with pre and post testing for quality assessment. The objective of this Project is to enhance creativity through the art of writing, create parental involvement and engender civic minded students. The end product will be a printed bound book authored and illustrated by the students. The writing residency will require a full week, once a day, for 2hours. The students will be instructed to write and illustrate a hard bound book that will be printed and placed in the school library for all the students of the school. This project will require parental involvement, as the parents are informed by material sent home in the student’s folder and are asked to support, assist, and interact with their child during this project. Additionally, to enhance civic mindedness a cross-generational component, the books will also be shared with local nursing homes and senior centers in the community, with the authors doing a reading series. The writing process will have a great impact on students, teachers, and the community. The impact on students and teachers will be enormous as it will teach across the Comprehensive Curriculum targeting Information Literacy Skills (9 technology included), GLE's and Benchmarks in English, writing, computer skills, and technology, science, art, and the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum Activity #1 (including LEAP material). The students will begin the writing process with a pre-assessment test and a pre-writing paper based on four-square writing. There will be a discussion on fiction and non-fiction literature, the four purposes for writing, what materials they will use for research. They will be taken through the writing process--brainstorming, researching, pre-writing/drafting, use of adjectives, compound sentences, similes, words in a series, exaggeration, punctuation, etc. They will engage the book publishing aspects as they will need to proofread/edit/revise, conference, illustrate, format, and print with the final result a printer's copy to be approved by students. Upon the authors’ approval, the book will be printed and bound. The children will end the class by participating in a post assessment exam. The school will host an Authors’ Day for the participating students, inviting friends and family. On Authors’ Day the hardbound book will be presented to the school librarian. The Authors will read the story to younger students; refreshments will be available; and the Authors will sign their fellow Authors’ books.
The book will then be placed online for students, teachers, and parents to view. The book will be read as the illustrations are shown. There will be 4 or 5 interactive questions following each book for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Elementary students. This will promote reading comprehension skills and form a foundation for the Accelerated Reading program. This has been requested by Louisiana early childhood teachers.
The books written for children by children are an enormous inspiration for other students. Younger children are inspired to read what children have written, and older children are inspired to read, as well as write, because they also want to be authors. The students realize that these books are in the school library forever and hundreds of children for years to come will read their book even their own children. This project proves that it is possible to be an author!
This project targets, as well as what is listed in the above document, the following specific English/Language Arts in the GLE’s:

Reading and Responding
Standard 1 and Standard 7

Standard 2

Standard 4

Speaking and Listening
Standard 4

The Writing Prompt Section of the LEAP TEST and the iLEAP TEST is directly targeted with this project. We are seeing an increase in writing scores on the tests.

This project can also be used to connect literacy to other curriculum areas such as art, technology skills, and science.

H&R Block / Cultural Crossroads Referral Program

H&R Block is partnering with Cultural Crossroads by donating $25 each time a new customer brings in this form. The referral program is active until 11/01/09. You or a friend call 1-800-HRBLOCK or visit today to schedule your appointment.