Summer Camp: Osseo Students Get Creative with Clay
In the middle of summer, you generally wouldn’t see kids excited about sitting in a classroom.
But things can quickly change when there’s ice cream involved.
“I think it looks yummy,” said Mara Kretz, a 7-year-old.
That’s quite a statement considering that the ice cream Kretz is referring to is made out of clay.
It’s just one of the skills kids learned last week during “Clay Creations & More.”
“We try to do a lot of different types of projects and types of themes, and we do a couple each year,” said Lisa Vitkus, co-owner/program manager of KidzArt.
Vitkus is one of the people running this summer camp, which is part of the Osseo School District’s “Camp Rocks.”
She’s the co-owner of the company, KidzArt, which first partnered with the district 11 years ago.
“Osseo is one district that does not have art in elementary schools as a subject matter, so it is a supplemental kind of program that is needed in the district where they might not get a lot of art, or their teacher doesn’t want to do art in their classroom,” Vitkus said.
Throughout the course of this four-day long camp, kids learn a variety of skills using several different types of clay.
“It’s just really fun to be here,” said Tessa Necklen, a 10-year-old.
It’s fun, not just because the kids learn how to make sculptures and things with paper-mache, but because these projects allow them to express their creativity.
“I think it builds a lot of skills that can relate to other subject areas,” Vitkus said. “In art, there’s a lot of connection to math and science, also brainstorming.”
However, art by itself is something that won’t show up on any standardized test score. Yet in the eyes of Vitkus, that doesn’t make the subject any less important.
“For that one student, if art was the only one they got an ‘A’ in, that could help encourage them to do better in their other subject matters, too,” Vitkus said. “Like ‘oh, I can succeed in this class, maybe I can try to apply myself better in my other classes.’”
That being said, those other classes won’t start up for another few weeks. For now, the focus is on fun.
“I like to work with clay,” Necklen said.