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Fairfield Kids Hang Art in Hallowed Halls

Most artists have to work for decades before their work is featured in the halls of Yale University’s Center for British Art . But for students at Fairfield’s McKinley Elementary School , the honor came early. All they needed was the guidance of their teacher, Kathy Reddy. Just last weekend, the kids and their families had the honor of seeing their work on display in the prestigious museum’s halls.

Kathy stumbled upon the museum’s Visual Literacy Program about three years ago while at an Open House. The series of classes allows kids to tour the museum a few times per year. Once back at school, they apply what they learned to their own work.

“While at the museum, the students are able to actively engage in ‘art conversations’ and apply the connections they make with their classroom curriculum,” Kathy said in an email. “The children and their families were delighted to see their artwork exhibited at the museum.”

Currently, one class each from grades 1, 2 and 3 at McKinley participate in the Visual Literacy Program at Yale. As a culmination of the program, the kids’ art went on display at the museum, along with work from other kids their age from all over the state. The parents and kids toured the halls March 27 to see their work in the gallery.

Fairfield Superintendent of Schools David Title also stopped by the museum with the McKinley families. Title said he (and even his own kids) were impressed with the work on display. As he wrote in his blog, “It’s quite a coup to have this relationship.”

The creativity and talent that Kathy fosters in McKinley’s art students is one of the reasons she is a nominee for the Star Teacher Award. Reader Anita Andrews, whose son had Kathy in fifth grade, said she nominated Kathy because she allows the students to “relax, and blow off steam” while creating their work.

Anita wrote, “Looking at the art work that Mrs. Reddy's classes turned out, honestly, if you did not know it was a middle school, the works could pass for professional works.”

Have your kids had Mrs. Reddy as an art teacher? What did they think of her class? Start the conversation in the comments below.

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