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Teaching Artist at Work

February 24, 2016

Cornville Regional Charter School

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 7.19.39 PMEach Wednesday Teaching Artist Shirleyanne Ratajczak has been teaching Clay Art to the students at Cornville Regional Charter School. Justin Belanger, President of the school, found Shirleyanne from the PK-12 Teaching Artist Roster on the Maine Arts Commission website. The roster was created for those seeking the expertise of a Teaching Artist. To date there are 47 artists on the roster. (The next call for Teaching Artist will go out this Spring).

Shirleyanne decided to work with the students at Cornville because they could dig clay from a local area called Belanger Pit. This intrigued Shirleyanne and she thought that it would be an excellent learning opportunity for the students.

Shirleyanne Ratajczak

Shirleyanne Ratajczak

The students took the raw clay harvested from the pit and processed it. They made several different objects culminating with the creation of a bowl. Some students started a Clay Club where they made bowls out of the Belanger Pit Clay for the Harvest Dinner/Concert which they sold as a fund raiser. The soup at the dinner was also made by the students using vegetables that they harvested.

This Spring, the Clay Club is planning to make flower pots out of the Belanger Pit Clay and sell them for a fund raiser at the Science Fair. They are also planning to start a plant in the pot, one Clay Club member suggested using Maple Syrup to stimulate the roots and make the plant grow bigger. Shirleyanne’s experience and knowledge as a potter is expanding the learning opportunities for students in an engaging way.

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