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  • Photos by Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette Sylis Smith, 5, and his sister Lylah Wilson, 3, join in the scavenger hunt in the main gallery at the Museum of Art Sunday. FWCS Title I pre-K families were invited in to learn about and create their own art.

  • Kainan McClain, 2, creates his masterpiece with plungers and potato masher at the Museum of Art on Sunday as museum docent Katie Gibson watches.

Sunday, March 19, 2017 10:48 pm

Pre-K painters get works put on display

Ashley Sloboda | The Journal Gazette

As other children painted in a nearby room, 5-year-old Caeson King on Sunday stood in a Fort Wayne Museum of Art hallway and posed for a picture, a display of artwork behind him.

But it wasn’t just any artwork; it was his.

He and other pre-K students got to see their masterpieces in the museum as part of a program for Fort Wayne Community Schools Title I pre-K families. The fourth annual event also featured several art activities and a scavenger hunt.

"It’s definitely a great way to see our families outside of school," Elizabeth Davis, a pre-K teacher at Indian Village Elementary, said as she manned a painting station called "art in motion."

Barbara Roberts, FWCS’ Title I district coach for pre-K, said art is important in preschoolers’ education because they can learn about other subject areas – including science, math and language – through it.

"Art really is an integration of all curriculum areas," she said.

Despite the Fort Wayne FAME Festival happening elsewhere downtown, Roberts said FWCS’ two-hour event was on track to surpass last year’s attendance of 100 families and at least 300 people.

Each family received a bag containing such Title I-funded materials as a drawing journal and a book titled "The Dot," she said, adding PNC, Wendy’s and the museum also contributed to the program. "We have a community supporting this event," Roberts said.

It’s one the Scrimpsher family hopes the district continues. Danny Scrimpsher, who held coats and his children’s artwork as they created even more, said his kids love the arts-and-crafts activities, which they rarely do as a family. His wife, Shannon, recalled how excited their daughter was when she got the golden ticket for the event, calling it a "treasured item" in their house.

Amy Selman said her 4-year-old daughter, Greta, loves art, so the event was an opportunity to show her new ways of making it.

Was the girl having fun?

"She’s too busy to answer," Selman said as Greta left a station involving clay for another where she could work with paper.

Caeson, done with his photo in the hallway, soon joined the others in creating more art.

His mother, Naomi King, said she was glad the whole family could attend.

"And they get to see their art in the art museum," she added.

asloboda@jg.net