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MARITZ FUND FOR TEACHERS SPOTLIGHT:

Arrowpoint Elementary School “Couplets and Clay”

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n March 16, the fifth grade students of Arrowpoint Elementary School lined up in the school gymnasium behind long tables displaying their pottery, each piece engraved with two lines of poetry. The event was the final exhibition of a project called “Couplets and Clay,” funded by the Maritz Arts and Education Fund for Teachers, administered by the Arts and Education Council. The project was inspired by Dave the Potter, one of the most talented 19th century American potters and a South Carolina slave. Dave spent most of his life in the pottery factories and studios of the area. His vessels were large, some able to hold more than 40 galStudents share their poetry and pottery with family and friends at the pottery exhibition. lons, with finely crafted handles and lip details. His most notable vessels, experience.” in their lives. Coming to school somethough, were those with his poems Another student, Markel Taylor, says times isn’t the biggest part of the day. written into the sides. At that time it “Having the opportunity to have she enjoyed the whole process and was illegal for slaves to write, so each their own art exhibit and create pottery, would keep working on her poetry. “It piece inscribed with a poem and his which most of them haven’t done, and was so awesome. I hadn’t done anysignature was a connect all of that thing like this before, and I thank the record of his defiance with a person who people who let us do it and participated “The kids learned so much. Their in the face of oppreshad struggles in his with us.” poetry was very telling. Some of Arrowpoint Elementary School is a grant sion. life was a connection them connected so much with recipient of A&E’s Maritz Arts and Education The Arrowpoint we thought would be Dave and his life as a slave, and Fund for Teachers. For information about students learned so important,” she what we really wanted them to the school visit hazelwoodschools.org. For about Dave by readunderstand was his persevercontinues. “And in more information about A&E’s Maritz Arts ance through it all, and that they ing Laban Carrick doing this, a lot of and Education Fund for Teachers visit will have obstacles through their Hill’s book, Dave the the students you KeepArtHappening.org. life, but that they too can persePotter. Nichol would never have vere.” Skolowski, Arrowpictured writing a -Nichol Skolowski, point’s librarian, and poem brought words Arrowpoint Elementary librarian Selection of Patti Hornberger, the from their heart and Students’ Couplets school’s art teacher, put a lot of effort into led students through research and distheir poetry and their art.” I made this jar from my soul; cussion of Dave’s life, followed by creat- The students’ excitement was infecbut you can use it as a bowl. -Ja’Lynn Evans ing small pots inscribed with the stutious as they stood behind their artdents’ own poetry. work talking to members of the crowd. I made this pot with a smile, During the exhibition, students took Many said they hadn’t had the chance Hope you leave with one for a while. the stage to read each of their couplets to work with clay or write much poetry -Layla Pace to the crowd of family and friends. before, but were excited about continuI made this jar full of love; Hornberger was thrilled to see the stuing. so Dave can see it from up above. dents, some of whom started the proj One of the young artists, Mareiona -Jalynn Hayes ect unsure of their skills, proudly read Goodlow, was a poet and singer before I made this pot with my bare hands, their poetry. the project, but thought the clay was a to share this with my family and friends. “We’re trying to reach students that challenge. “Working with clay was hard -Bryce Evans learn on different levels,” she explains. to do,” she explains. “If it was too thin, it “We have a wide range of students won’t work, but if you used too much here, and a lot of them have challenges then it would harden up. It was a fun 8

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