Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
Children were using their hands to create their own masterpiece, art classes held at the Effingham library, and lots of children attend them. The classes are directed by Jennifer Fisher of Mt. Zion. Fisher owns the studio Next of Kiln. Fisher considers this class a hand-building class.
During this class children get a slab of clay, which is pre-made for them. They are taught to use cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the clay and to paint the shapes they cut out. After this Fisher and her colleagues take the clay and place it inside a kiln (a special oven). The children get them back in two weeks.
Children use their creativity to make their shapes special and unique. Fisher says “schools cut so many extracurricular activities very few kids would be exposed to art without this class.”
Nine-year-old Kathenire Bierman and seven-year-old Anna Bierman say they “like coming to class and that it`s fun to come.”
“The kids like it and it`s nice for them to learn a new skill” says Alicia Kepley a parent who takes her kids to the library for art classes.
The program is always full. no cost to the kids, currently 30 kids are enrolled, they always do new art projects throughout the summer. The registration process is all online librarian Vicki Furnerman said. Furnerman develops new programs for the kids, Furnerman also says “the program encourages kids to read and stay engaged over the summer and helps prepare them for the new school year.”