Student Rallies Volunteers To Bring Arts To Local Schools
May 6, 2002-- On a recent
Saturday afternoon, Charlottesville area students were dressed in
their Sunday best as they proudly showed off artistic accomplishments
to family members gathered in Newcomb Hall Ballroom at the University
of Virginia. They sang and danced, showed off paintings and stories
all talents that had blossomed from seeds planted by one
showcase is my favorite part of the program," said Sarah Rude,
creator of Community Arts Volunteers. She created the program to
provide an outlet for her own artistic energy and to provide lessons
in the arts to youngsters who might not be able to afford them.
Rude, who has played the viola for 11 years, also sings, writes
poetry and fiction, and is learning to play the electric bass. She
joins thousands of other students graduating from U.Va. on May 19.
an organizational standpoint, we spend a lot of time planning, and
to see all the work we put in as a seed that has grown and developed
into something we can show everyone makes me very proud," she
Rude started the program, she quickly found there were many other
U.Va. students willing to share their artistic talents. "They
may be planning to go to medical school but play the piano, and
this lets them have an outlet for their artistic talents,"
she said. "To see so many students who have the same combination
of good will and artistic energy is heartening."
program, now in its third semester, has grown to include about 50
volunteers who reach more than 100 pupils in group settings at Charlottesvilles
Venable Elementary and Walker Upper Elementary schools. The U.Va.
students engage the pupils in historic crafts, landscape painting,
figure drawing, mask making and art history, and they give lessons
in poetry, piano, violin, drama, dance and song.
is an integral part of the Walker after-school program, said Luvelle
Brown, assistant principal. He praised Rude for her leadership role
and ability to get volunteers to show up week after week. He emphasized
that the U.Va. students are important role models for the youngsters.
Huml, director of Venables after-school program, said CAVS
expands the schools ability to offer a range of art classes.
"Having people with the ability to teach art, specifically,
brings an element of formal training" to the children, she
Dowd, director of a city program that oversees summer and after-school
enrichment programs in all the schools, said, "The trend is
to get away from these sorts of things in the classroom because
of the Standards of Learning requirements. This is exactly the thing
Id like to do in all the programs. Its fun, but its
said she was touched when one of the students she taught said, "Were
lucky to have each other."
who is graduating with a double major in political and social thought
and in the modern studies program in the English department, developed
her love of helping others in high school in Dale City, where she
tutored elementary students in a program she created. Knowing CAVS
will be in good hands next year, she plans to continue helping youngsters
and sharing her artistic talents in AmeriCorps and WritersCorps
in Washington, D.C., before pursuing a Ph.D. in American studies.
Jane Ford, (434) 924-4298