Most folks are familiar with TAEA‘s high school and junior Visual Arts Scholastic Events or VASE. But TAEA has also been recognizing elementary students and art educators since 2009. The Texas Elementary Art Meet or TEAM is the awards program for the young. This year, 19 Aldine ISD students earned TEAM awards. One student brought home a “Top of the TEAM” Award. This is the highest honor TAEA bestows on elementary age students.
TEAM follows the quality and standards of the VASE model. But it is uniquely designed to meet the needs and learning styles of elementary age students.
The program also encourages students to nurture their artistic talent said Dr. Michaelann Kelley. She serves as the program director for fine arts in AISD.
“Art and creativity are essential in children’s development,” Kelley said. “Simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. The benefits of art are many. They include improved language development, visual learning, inventiveness, cultural awareness and improved academic performance.”
Americans for the Arts conducted a longitudinal study of 25,000 students between 1987 and 1998. The research showed that students benefited from art. They showed improved academic performance and low dropout rates.
Duke University’s Talent Identification Program also supports recognizing and supporting creative talent.
Children need opportunities to develop their creativity. According to Dr. Bonnie Cramond, motivation in childhood is a better predictor of adult talent than ability. She is associate professor of gifted and creative education at the University of Georgia.
Abilities develop over time, but the tenacity to pursue an area of interest usually shows up early.
Cramond also serves as director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development. E. Paul Torrance wrote Manifesto for Children. Torrence based his manifesto on his observations of creative development. The manifesto provides guidance in fostering creativity.
“As our world becomes more complex and problems become more challenging,” Cramond said. “The need for creative individuals to address these situations in innovative ways increases. If creativity goes unrecognized, both the creative individual and society lose. Discovery and development of creativity should be primary goals of families and schools.“
Kelley sees TAEA’s TEAM Awards as a way to give young students creative recognition. Every student that takes part receives a certificate. Students that earn a “Good” or “Grow” rating receive ribbons. TAEA awards medals to students that earn “Exemplary” ratings for their artwork. Each year, experienced art educators comprise the juror panel.
Aldine ISD took part in the Region 4 competition held at the Spring Branch Art Museum in May. Schools from Houston, Klein, Spring Branch, Alief and Cypress-Fairbanks took part. So did some private schools. The panel judged more than 600 pieces of artwork during a two-day period.
Kelley is proud of the students that took part in the program. She also lauded the 19 Aldine ISD students that earned recognition. AISD had 15 students medal and four earned ribbons. Sofia Olvera from Jones Elementary School brought home the highest honor. The first grade student earned a “Top of the TEAM” Award. Only the top 10 percent across the state earn this distinction. Each year, TAEA selects among the Top of the TEAM recipients to post their artwork on the association’s website. Folk’s can visit the site to view some of the 2014 Top of the TEAM recipients‘ artwork.
AISD 2015 TEAM Award Recipients
Ribbon Award of Achievement — Lilianne Díaz
Medal — Jayden Figgins
Medal — Gloria Jeremias
Medal — Timothy Le
Medal — Cristian López
Medal — Verónica Macías
Medal — Valery Montalvo
Medal — Mareli Rosas
Medal — Diego Salgado
Medal — Santos Salmerón-Mejía
Ribbon Award of Achievement — Ethan Sánchez
Carter Academy received a School of Distinction Award from Magnet Schools of America.
Medal — Sebastián Bonilla
Medal — Jimena García
Top of the TEAM Award — Sofia Olvera
Ribbon Award of Achievement — Karen Periera
Medal — Diomedes Ramírez
Ribbon Award of Achievement — Evelyn Rojas
Medal — Valery Chávez
Medal — Alexander Garza
Kujawa Elementary School received the 2013 School of Excellence Award from Magnet Schools of America. Kujawa is also an IB World School.
Kelley also lauded art educators throughout the district as well as the arts education program.
“We have a wonderful art education program,” Kelley said. “But a large part of the credit goes to the incredible art educators we have across the district. Elementary art teachers help young children develop their artistic abilities. At the same time, they are helping students express themselves. Art also has a way of helping young and old to connect with the world around them. Art also opens people to new ways of seeing things as well as enjoying deeper forms of beauty. These social and community skills are all essential in helping students fulfill their potential.
“Many studies show the amazing benefits of art education and the integration of art in other core subjects. This is something we are proud about in Aldine ISD. We have been integrating the arts across the curriculum for years. Art has the power to inspire, motivate and educate today’s students.“
Below see close-ups of students submitted by Carter Academy.
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