Barlow grad creates project to benefit schools without art

When Jane Skalkos-Baldyga completed her student teaching in rural Mississippi, her heart broke for her students who did not have art classes in their school due to limited funding.

“As the daughter of an art educator, I know the importance of art,” she said. “I knew that I had to try and make a difference for my students.”

To bring art into her former school, Skalkos-Baldyga created a project she calls “Mississippi Art Packs.”

She created multiple original lesson plans aligning to content areas such as math and writing to make art lessons educational and applicable for non-art teachers to use. She raised more than $600 dollars and purchased all of the required art supplies for her lesson plans.

With Skalkos-Baldyga’s fund-raiser, every student in a class will receive an art pack, which includes watercolor paper, watercolor paint, paint brushes, oil pastels, crayons, markers, sharpies, and colored pencils.

Skalkos-Baldyga, a member of the Joel Barlow High School class of 2012, graduated  last May from the University of Mississippi with a degree in elementary education. She recently completed her master of arts degree in teaching at Sacred Heart University and is now a prospective teacher for the upcoming 2017-18 school year.

“I hope that when the students receive their art supplies they fall in love with art as they will finally be able to experience the freedom of expressing themselves,” she said. “I also hope that teachers are inspired by my lessons and incorporate art into lessons of their own on a regular basis. My dream is to expand my project on a larger scale to help make an even bigger difference.”

Jane Skalkos-Baldyga created multiple original lesson plans aligning to content areas such as math and writing to make art lessons educational and applicable for non-art teachers to use.

Jane Skalkos-Baldyga created multiple original lesson plans aligning to content areas such as math and writing to make art lessons educational and applicable for non-art teachers to use.

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