SFCA Artists in the Schools Spotlight: Kihei Charter School (2023)

August 17, 2023

Ninety-eight Kīhei Charter School students deepened their knowledge and sense of connection to Maui through its unique habitats and native animals

Ninety-eight Kīhei Charter School fourth and fifth graders had an Artists in the Schools residency with painter Maggie Sutrov earlier this year. During this residency, students practiced close observation and realistic depictions as both scientists and artists. Students also practiced giving and receiving feedback to better express the Maui habitats and native animals they were learning about.

Teaching artist Maggie Sutrov recounted “The [classroom] teachers greatly appreciated the visual arts instruction, since this school values creativity but doesn’t have a visual arts teacher. They appreciated and valued the connections to content they were studying in their classroom. The professional development allowed teachers to both experience and understand the processes used by the teaching artist. Experiencing the process themselves allows them valuable insight, and revisiting and understanding the process allows the teachers to see how they might incorporate it into their own projects.”

Student feedback included “After making this painting of my Hawaiian hawk, I want to study and draw Hawaiian hawks more.” “Before this project, I didn’t feel like I could draw well. Now I feel like I’m good at drawing!”

A classroom teacher reported “It’s hard to get my class’s energy focused as a whole, but they were into it. They didn’t want to stop. It also helped them to be more self directed.”

Kīhei Charter School did a phased reopening this week, with a staggered schedule to allow school teams time to assess damage and staffing capacity to ensure a safe reopening following the South Maui wildfires. Maui County reported the Pulehu/Kīhei wildfire to be 100% contained as of Saturday, August 12, 2023.

About the Artists in the Schools (AITS) Program

AITS arts residency grants provide engaging, creative, and fun learning experiences for State of Hawaiʻi Department of Education public and charter schools through residencies with qualified, trained teaching artists from the Artistic Teaching Partners (ATP) Roster. Many of these teaching artists integrate their art form with other core curriculum areas, such as language arts, math, social studies, and science, meeting both Fine Arts and other core standards. Learn more about the AITS program on the SFCA website: SFCA.hawaii.gov/aits.

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