CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. – Art programs at Blue Mountain Middle School expanded this year, as a result of a $7,000 grant from the Hendrick Hudson Community Education Foundation.
The grant was awarded to two middle school art teachers, Logan Krause and Paul Gioacchini.
“We’ve had some great innovative ideas that need funding, ideas that will give our students a greater depth into exploring today’s world of visual arts and technology,” Krause said. “We’ve been very lucky to have a supportive administration, and especially the HHCEF to turn to and make it happen.”
The grant funded four elective art programs. Cameras and equipment were purchased for a new digital photography course, and a computer graphics program was expanded to include electives in game design, digital modeling and graphic design.
The classes are offered in addition to current art electives and are designed to improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills, the foundation said. The courses also are designed to reinforce math and science lessons in relation to everyday activities, it said.
“We’re both pleased at how engaged they are in their work and how they are collaborating with each other," Gioacchini said about students' reactions. "We know times are tough, but we’re so grateful that we’re able to give our students these amazing opportunities."
The foundation is funded by private donations from community members, not by the school district. Since 1995, the foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in grants and scholarships.