Abby Kuhn, MES art teacher, received a Leadership Award through Artsonia, an online kid’s art museum providing free educational resources for children, families and schools. She began displaying her students’ artwork on the site three years ago.
“The Artsonia Leadership Award honors teachers who go beyond the classroom walls to encourage family and community involvement in arts education,” Artsonia Chief Executive Officer Jon Meyers said in a letter addressed to MES principal Dr. Rebecca Robinson Sept. 12. “The award also recognizes significant achievement in the area of technology integration within the school arts program. Participation in a program such as Artsonia clearly show’s a teacher’s initiative and dedication not only to the field of arts education, but to cultivating family involvement and enhancing the learning experience of the students as well.”
Artsonia bestows its Leadership Award to 10 teachers per state across the United States. Teachers in more than 100 countries worldwide use Artsonia to display their students’ artwork.
“The site serves as a digital portfolio for students,” Kuhn said. “I can upload pictures of the artwork that they’re doing in our class pretty much as soon as they finish it. Once it goes into their portfolio, their parents can see what they’re doing. The site sends them an email notification to let them know something new (has been uploaded). Parents can invite other people such as grandparents, other family members and friends to view the artwork.”
The Facebook-like social media site, founded in 2000 and headquartered in Gurnee, Ill., tracks artwork by individual student submissions and submissions via grade.
“I like the site because I can look back and see how far each student has come over a longer period of time,” Kuhn said.
Visitors to the site can post comments and see how many times a particular submission has been viewed.
Between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, Kuhn submitted 3,488 pieces of artwork to the site. More than 14,800 visitors viewed the school’s collection of online art.
Kuhn said each student completes a piece of artwork every two weeks as they alternate between art and music classes.
“I haven’t managed to get everything they’ve made posted, but my goal is to do that,” Kuhn said. “I’m off to a better start this year at documenting everything.”
Her diligence in posting the artwork helped the school’s gallery rank fourth in the state for the 2012-2013 school year. School rankings are determined by number of artwork submissions, active fan clubs, comments, artist statements and funds calculated into one overall rank.
Kuhn credited the parents as the reason for Artsonia’s recognition.
“I think (the ranking) reflects on our parents that they’re really involved and they’re engaged in what the students are doing,” Kuhn said. “A lot of the (category) rankings come from their support and their willingness to participate in the program.”
To view MES’s online art gallery, visit www.artsonia.com/schools/Munford5.
Contact Shane Dunaway at email@example.com.