Photos from YAM Summit 2024

Art Educators Binnie-Ayn Chriss, Clare Esmond, Amber Simmons, and Christina Wallace  joined forces with National Art Honor Society (NAHS) of RCS High School to organize the first annual YAM Summit on March 6th. This event brought together the members of NAHS and 5th-grade Art Club members from A.W. Becker and Pieter B. to celebrate Youth Art Month (YAM). The morning event featured art stations, including three large canvases, a wheel of art, a thank-you card appreciation station, a coloring workshop, and an Origami "how-to" table. The Art Club students were divided into small groups, each led by high school students, and the NAHS members ran each activity station, making the summit a student-led event. 

Each activity station gave students enough time to learn about the activity and then use hands-on learning to put what they had learned into action. The theme for the day was how students appreciate each other and how they can learn from their peers and grow by working alongside each other to create something. The best representation of this was the three collaborative paintings designed by NAHS members that said, "TOGETHER WE ARE RCS." The canvases were designed with tubes of paint to represent how everyone is an individual and unique, and the paint bucket at the bottom of the painting labeled RCS represents how as a district, we celebrate our differences and similarities. Each student had the opportunity to paint part of each canvas, making three collaborative paintings for each building that participated in the summit.

There were many memorable moments from the summit. Miss Simmons, HS Art Teacher, described a moment from the day when a high school student ran to her with excitement, expressing how talented one of the 5th-grade artists was. "The pride she had in sharing his talents and how she celebrated that student really spoke to the event and the positivity that can come from varying age groups working together. "

Kadance Pickup, NAHS President was very happy with the event.  “It was rewarding to give a new refreshing art opportunity to 5th grade students.” 

Casiana Pagan, NAHS member exclaimed how exciting it was to work with the younger students. "This was a fantastic way to bring varying age groups together." 

Clare Esmond, AWB Art Teacher, commented, "I observed teaching talents as well as artistic talents among the RCS high school students at the summit. Hopefully, the experience of leading lessons at the summit will help NAHS members determine if teaching will be a career possibility."

The Art Department is very proud of the event and is looking forward to next year. Many ideas for new projects have already started to be brainstormed. "By providing these early social connections with other art students throughout the district, the YAM Summit helps create an early sense of community within the district. This shared positive experience should also ease the students' transition into our district's middle and high schools." Binnie Chriss, PBC Art Teacher. The age groups worked well together and genuinely appreciated the time to create alongside each other. Students brought home many things from the YAM Summit, including Origami, coloring pages, and drawings. Most importantly, though, they brought home an experience and memories that will last for years to come.

Check out photos from the YAM Summit.