‘Tis the season of giving! Now is the perfect time of year to look back and reflect on the ways we’ve strived to make this world a better place and give back to people and communities.
Just because Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday have recently passed, doesn’t mean we should stop caring about giving back. You can continue the giving spirit all year long!
In case you missed it, OOLY was a part of a very special moment this past Teacher’s Appreciation Week with the Drew Barrymore Show! Teacher Candace Green joined Drew’s News on May 10th to talk about why she wanted to help her students explore their worlds virtually, and shares what she’s been doing to transform her students’ attendance from 40% to 99%.
Candace Green is known for putting together art kits for her students to help keep them actively creative in and out of the classroom. OOLY is proud to be assisting Candace’s incredible mission by donating $9,000 worth of supplies so Candace can continue to create and distribute art kits to her 400 students!
We spoke with Candace about what she’s looking forward to for this coming school year! See the video here.
OOLY: What is your favorite thing about being a teacher? How did you get started?
Candace Green: My favorite thing about being a teacher is seeing my students connect to what I am teaching. I love that Aha moment that they get. I love when they are excited about what they are learning, you can see in their eyes, the sparkle when they connect.
I started teaching as an accident I say.
I was going to school to be a web designer and my college asked me if I would help out at a local school. I was hesitant but they talked me into it. I started out as an instructional assistant, but when the school found out I was in the Army band they asked me if I would start an after-school band program. I did and I fell in love and I have been teaching ever since.
OOLY: What was your biggest takeaway from this school year? Is there anything you changed, but will continue doing post-pandemic?
Candace: My biggest takeaway from this year is that kids are resilient and can do anything. I held high expectations for my kids but made it exciting and worthwhile. I didn’t let myself feel defeated. I could have easily said this year is impossible and just got by doing the minimum, but I knew my kids were capable of more. I created a new style of teaching and the kids loved it. The live virtual field trips that I did really helped my students connect to art and I got more participation than I’ve had even in the regular classroom.
One of the biggest changes was having my kids connect with artists in the community. I plan to continue to have artist talks. It really opened my students’ eyes to art and what is around them. Talking to artists made my students feel more confident in art, it made them feel that they could do art too.
OOLY: How did you celebrate this past Teacher Appreciation Day?
Candace: I celebrated Teacher Appreciation Day this year by sharing my love of art and virtual field trips on the Drew Barrymore Show, and by getting all the wonderful art supplies from OOLY!
It not only made the best Teacher Appreciation day but it made a lifetime of teacher appreciation! Thank you!
OOLY: How will you be spending your summer before the next school year starts?
Candace: Right now I am teaching summer school and I will do that through June. At the end of the month, I am going on a road trip across the country with my boyfriend and I am really looking forward to seeing parts of the country I haven’t seen before and checking out art in new places.
OOLY: What are you most looking forward to next (2021-22) school year?
I really am looking forward to seeing all my kids in person and to an art room full of noise, messes, and kids making art. I look forward to seeing the deeper love of art that they accrued this year manifest into art-making in the art room.
OOLY: How can people better support the schools in their community?
There are many great ways people can support schools in their community, if their state has a public school tax credit they should do that for a local school. You can also choose where you want the tax credit to go for example if you want it to go to art, music, drama, etc. at that particular school.
The tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar match that you get back on your taxes and tax credit helps fund field trips and extracurricular activities. I think the arts are the most underfunded programs in schools. If you are passionate about the arts then share that passion with a local school.
Give tax credit, donate supplies or donate your time and share your passion. If we don’t continue to get kids excited for the arts we will lose this next generation.