Artistic advantage: CCA teachers start creative program to help students excel

Published 12:16 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Fifth and sixth grade students at Chilton Christian Academy will enjoy weekly art classes for the rest of the school year thanks to a Bright Ideas Grant from Central Alabama Electric Cooperative.

CCA teachers Bridgette Sullivan and Katie Hayes received $1,500 for art supplies. This was their first year to apply to the grant program.

“My passion actually came from my own children who are now in high school and my daughter who is wanting to be a graphic design artist,” Sullivan said.

Although Sullivan teaches Bible, science, computer skills and math for fifth and sixth grades, she also has some art experience and is taking some classes in preparation for leading activities for the students.

“I have always done art,” Sullivan said. “It has been a passion of mine since I was very young.”

While many of her projects through the years were “more crafty than art,” Sullivan said her husband and daughter enjoy art, “and they have always inspired me.”

The classes will be during regular school hours.

Sullivan wants the class to be a break from textbooks and an opportunity for hands-on learning.

“Art can help develop so many skills while also increasing a growth mindset to help students master their craft, do well academically and help them problem solve in future encounters,” Sullivan said in the grant application.

She said art classes will also give students who might not excel at current extracurriculars, such as sports, something they can enjoy.

Sullivan hopes to expand the art classes to additional elementary school grades in the future.

“We want as many elementary classes that can benefit from it to do so,” Sullivan said.

She said she plans to apply to the annual grant program again to have needed supplies.

Sullivan has taught at CCA for nine years with 20 years total in her education career.