Monday, May 9, 2011

Learn all about the Mercer Island Art Bus!

 The Art Bus is a project being started for the Mercer Island Elementary Schools by Megan Hand.  We talked with her through email to learn more about what it will do for our kids and their love of art.


What made you decide to start this cool new project?

When my son entered kindergarten at Lakeridge I was astounded that there was not art classrooms or art teachers in any of the elementary schools on Mercer Island.  It was also brought to my attention that Bellevue and Bainbridge school districts both have certified art teachers on staff as well as full functioning art classrooms  --  so I thought why don’t we?  Unfortunately, since our district is completely overcrowded a dedicated art classroom is out of the question for Mercer Island right now.   Then, I thought --  perhaps we could re-purpose one of the school buses that was slated to be sold for scrap and make it into an art classroom.

Why are you passionate about this project? 

We all know as parents that every child learns differently, and some kids really do gravitate to art at a young age.  However, this self-expression is not valued the same as other core subjects by most classroom teachers for a number of reasons.  Mainly, because it is hard for a teacher without elementary art credentials to feel confident in teaching art to kids.  Art is not an easy subject to teach especially as students get older and learning how to actually manipulate the different forms of mediums come into play.

So, wouldn’t it be wonderful for those children who love to paint, draw and mold clay to be acknowledged by an art teacher?  An adult that tells them their creative thoughts and ideas are important?   I think that alone would be worth the 1000 of volunteer hours that have already gone into this project.

How does the art bus work? 

It will be a 21Century learning classroom dedicated to making art.   It will have the latest in classroom technology that will connect kids with artists and allow an art teacher to bring learning art to life.

Will the bus go to all school locations? Yes, all three elementary schools will benefit from this project --  and that is over 1,800 kids!

What can we do as a community to support the art bus effort?

The community can donate, spread the word, and volunteer by going to You can also “like” ArtBus on Facebook  Or email or call me at or 206-232-1896

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