All About Richland, Schools

Mansfield Art Center Expansion To Give Mansfield Schools Some STEAM

23 Aug , 2018  

A planned new education wing at the Mansfield Art Center will include an after-school program for Mansfield City Schools students interested in high-fire ceramic and glass art.

Art center executive director George Whitten outlined the program for the board of education Tuesday evening. “We’re calling it the Tyger STEAM program,” Whitten said, the acronym standing for science, technology engineering, art and mathematics. Students will experience high-fire ceramics and glass-blowing in a studio art environment. It will be a structured program using Ohio Department of Education standards.”

Whitten said a STEAM committee of Mansfield City Schools teachers and art center representatives is developing the specifics of the after-school curriculum. “We also see this as a mentoring program for high school students who then can mentor younger students,” he said.

The 4,200-square-foot education wing is part of a $2.63 million campaign that also includes a pavilion and renovations to the art center. About $2.3 million has been raised, including a $750,000 contribution from the state of Ohio.

“We hope to finish by the end of 2020,” Whitten told the board.

The art center discussion, which included Art Rising campaign chair Chriss Harris, was one of three presentations to the board.

Julie Kleshinski, executive director of The New Store, located in the Mid-Ohio Educational Service center, described the store’s work in providing free new clothing and shoes to students in need throughout Richland County. The store is operated by the Richland County Children’s Auxiliary.

“We serve about 1,100 students every year and approximately 650 of them are from Mansfield City Schools,” Kleshinski said.

Referrals for clothing and shoe assistance are made by school principals. After the process is complete, students are given a time to visit The New Store. Parents are required to wait in the lobby while children select their own clothes, assisted by volunteers.

“Everything you provide is brand new. Half of it is about the clothes and half of it is about the experience for kids. Your facility at the Mid-Ohio ESC is like walking into a department store,” Superintendent Brian Garverick said.

Board member Renda Cline echoed Garverick’s comment, saying the experience for children is like shopping at the popular retail store Justice. “It allows them to choose things that make them happy,” she said.

Susie Harlan and Linda Williams, representing Altrusa International of Mansfield, updated the board on the club’s annual Tools for Schools program which provides classroom supplies ranging from pencils and notebooks to glue sticks and paper.

“We spend about $18,000 each year for supplies,” Harlan said, explaining that Altrusa receives requests from classroom teachers. Williams said 57,000 items already have been distributed for 2018-19 in Richland County with about 75 percent going to Mansfield City Schools.

Altrusa also provides backpacks filled with supplies, personal hygiene items and educational materials to students who are classified as homeless.

Board member Sheryl Weber, a retired district teacher, said she has had the opportunity to help Altrusa volunteers bag items to fill supply requests. “The teachers are utilizing the supplies. I used them when I was teaching. Teachers appreciate Altrusa’s efforts,” Weber said.

Source, Photo: Mansfield City Schools

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