Art is an essential part of a child’s education, and art is an essential part of Detroit’s emergence.
Pewabic, founded in Detroit in 1903, is a community of makers, educators, and innovators devoted to progressing ceramics. They are a non-profit organization that creates ceramics relevant and accessible to all. And at the present, they are focusing on supporting art education in Detroit Public Schools.
At Burton International School, Pewabic has worked with more than 200 of the Detroit Public School’s Pre-K students in 3 years. For many students, Pewabic’s classes are their very first experience making art.
“We care about the City of Detroit and we care about the future of the City of Detroit. And the future of Detroit is in the children,” said Executive Director, Steve McBride. In addition to artistic enrichment, research has shown that art education programs significantly enhance math, reading, cognitive ability, creativity, critical thinking, and verbal skills.
The impact of Pewabic’s art classes is evident in the knowledge the students carry. Trinity Jones, a five-year-old Detroit Public School student, learned a fundamental lesson on shapes in her class. Trinity can now form shapes with her hands in clay and recall their names, “circle, rectangle, square, triangle.”
After a reading of Eric Carle’s children’s classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Zachary Marshall, a five-year-old Detroit Public School student, practiced forming a caterpillar as a way of translating what he learned in Carle’s story. Zachary knows, “If you want to make something with clay, you have to roll it into a ball and smooth it. And that’s how you can make a caterpillar.”
Pewabic’s Adopt A Classroom fundraiser has a generous match of $50,000 from the Benno M. Steinborn Trust. Steinborn, a product of Detroit Public Schools, believed in the power of art education to transform the life of a child.
Pewabic has reached more than 2,000 Detroit Public School students in the last year through both classroom and after school programs. Gifts to the Adopt A Classroom fundraiser ensure that Pewabic will be able to continue to reach Detroit Public School students through hands-on learning.
“Working together, we can help bring art back to Detroit Public Schools,” said McBride.
Gifts to Pewabic’s Adopt a Classroom fundraiser for art classes in Detroit Public schools can be made online at www.pewabic.org/inspire.