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POAC's Kaleidoscope offering online art lessons

| November 4, 2020 1:00 AM

For 28 years, Pend Oreille Arts Council’s Kaleidoscope program has provided art lessons to third through sixth graders in Bonner County elementary schools without art education programs. Typically, a trained volunteer would visit the classroom monthly and teach an art lesson. This year volunteers are not allowed in classrooms due to COVID-19. 

While in-person instruction currently isn't possible, the Kaleidoscope team has been hard at work creating a fun and unique alternative. Kaleidoscope welcomed two new team members this year. Amy O'Hara is the new artistic director, and Nellie Lutzwolf is the new coordinator. The Kaleidoscope team has come up with a program that allows for learning at home or to serve as a supplement to teachers in the classroom.

Each month, starting in October, there will be an art lesson posted online.  There will also be a yearlong sketchbook project which consists of 30 creative prompts, one for each week of the school year. Nearly 800 sketchbook kits have been distributed to Bonner County students with the help of the Lake Pend Oreille School District. There are kits available at the POAC office, 110 Main St., Suite 101, for homeschooled students to pick up. At the end of the school year, POAC plans to host a show to celebrate the students who have participated in the program.

The volunteers and students will miss the hands-on experience with one another in the classroom. However, some exciting benefits come from remote instruction. These online lessons will be accessible not only to grades 3-6 students. They are open to the public. POAC staff encourages as much community participation as possible. POAC invites the community to participate in the Kaleidoscope art projects and sketchbooks along with students. 

All instructions and information will be available on the Pend Oreille Arts Council website www.artinsandpoint.org/kaleidoscope and Instagram @kal.scope.kids. For those without internet access, hard copies of the lessons are available by contacting the POAC office, 208-263-6139. Anyone participating in these creative tasks can share their work with #kalscopekids. That, of course, includes students, with help from their parents.

The Kaleidoscope staff will reassess in-classroom lessons for the spring semester come January. If you have a student in grade 3-6 who currently has no access to an art program, please reach out and contact Lutzwolf at kaleidoscope.art.education@gmail.com.

You can help POAC fund the Kaleidoscope Program by making a donation at www.artinsandpoint.org/giving or by mailing donations to PO Box 1694, Sandpoint, ID 83864.

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Each month, starting in October, the Pend Oreille Arts Council's Kaleidoscope program will be posting an online art lesson.