Art Appreciation Volunteer Meeting
October 24th, 2024 at 9:15am in the PTA office
Online at 7pm (link will be sent to volunteers prior to meeting)

If interested in volunteering, please email





The Art Appreciation program is funded by the PTA and run by parent volunteers. The purpose of the program is to share enthusiasm for and interest in art and artists. It is different from the art class taught by our Art Specialist in that it is more free-form exploration of art or artists. Our hope is to stimulate the student’s imaginations, encourage self-expression, and expose them to different perspectives, cultures and histories.

Art Appreciation parents visit the classroom once a month October through May or June.  They lead a 50-minute long art lesson or activity. Volunteers work with teachers to find a mutually agreed upon time. It is a great opportunity for non-Spanish speaking parents to get to know the students in the classroom. The volunteers typically give a brief biography of an artist or history of an art form and then the students start a project in the style of a particular artist or practice a particular art technique. Some volunteers use PowerPoint presentations, some use children’s books about an artist or art-style, and some just give some parameters and let the kids explore the materials.

Art Appreciation parents do not need an art background to participate in the program, although a few have degrees in art. Every year new parents join who have never done this before. It is a fun opportunity to work in the classroom. Parents sometimes start in the program when their kids are young and remain through 5th grade. These parents are experienced and have developed an ability to find meaningful projects to fit the age group and guide the class through it. They have learned to be flexible, open and willing to let each child go in their own direction.

Our annual gallery night, called Art Fest, provides an opportunity to showcase students' work. This year the Art Appreciation is teaming up with the Spanish Immersion Through the Arts Committee (SITA) for a fun-filled gallery night. One of our librarians, Sra. Brody, will be hosting poetry reading in the library and our music teacher, Sra. Rose, will have the marimba bands perform in the gym. 



How to Gather Ideas for Your Art Class

Some teachers suggest projects, concepts, artists or themes that supplement the curriculum students are working on. Other projects come from volunteer’s interests, resources from within the Art Appreciation program, websites or from experienced Art Appreciation parents.

1.  Talk to your classroom teacher

Teachers often like to have art classes that follow their curriculum.  For example,

  • Science:  insect drawing, oil pastel planets, print making with leaves, making art using outdoor materials, painting rocks
  • Math:  symmetrical mask painting, optical illusion, positive and negative design, 3D sculpture
  • Social Study: aboriginal art, totem pole project, making recycle paper, drawing maps, city planning
  • Literature: projects based on story books, poetry

2.  Passport Club’s Special Itineraries

Each month, students have an opportunity to learn culture and geographical facts about a country which PTA’s Passport Club program features as Special Itinerary. Introducing celebrated art and artists from the country is a great way to discover more about the culture. The Passport Club Company has great resources on their website and Pinterest boards at

3.  Attend Art Appreciation Meetings & Workshops

We are planning to have regular get-togethers to share project ideas that worked well in our classes or help you brainstorm ideas to present on a specific topic or skill.

We will also have experienced Art Appreciation volunteers and artists host workshops on different techniques and skills like printmaking, ceramics and using the kiln.

4. Go Online

Please refer to the links in our Online Resources & Inspiration Section below.

Budget and Materials


The PTA Office has 4 large cabinets filled with papers; clay and glazes; many different kinds of paints; pens, inks, oil and chalk pastels, charcoal, and pencils for drawing and illustrating; and materials for block printing. There is a whole host of other crafting items like felt, foam stickers, and yarn. There is also a kiln on-site at Puesta del Sol.

To reserve time on the kiln, please use the Sign-Up Genius Reservation Request.

Each class has a budget of $75 for the year to cover miscellaneous expenses.  When there is more than one parent volunteer in the class, please be sure to coordinate your expenditures.  Volunteers turn their reimbursement requests into the envelope on the Art Appreciation Closet door.  One of the chairs will sign it and put it into the PTA Treasurer’s box.  You can download the Reimbursement Form from this website.  Go to our Documents and Forms web page and look under FINANCIAL FORMS.  There are also blank forms available in the envelope. Please use your $75 materials budget because it allows the PTA to know if they are funding the program adequately.  

Volunteers are encouraged to use the sign-out sheets on the clipboards of the closets to reserve materials they plan to use for their class projects. It is a good idea to check a week or so in advance of your project to ensure that everything you need is available. Please let the Art Appreciation Chairs know when we need to restock a certain material. Our email is:  [email protected].




    Online Resources and Inspiration   


1. Drop Box Account of Past Presentations

The Art Appreciation Committee keeps a Dropbox account where we share projects other parent volunteers have submitted. Please email [email protected] to receive access to the files.

2. Websites

Below are some websites that parents have used to find fun projects.  If you have any websites you would to share with others Art Appreciation volunteers, send us an email at [email protected].

3. Picture and Activity Books

Children’s books featuring art and artists are excellent resources and can enhance your classroom presentations.  We are starting to build a library of books that focus on artists and art techniques especially for children.  Volunteers will be able to check them out from the Art Appreciation cabinets.  Many are available through King County Library System as well.  We would love to know about books you would recommend or have used in your presentations.  Please share them with us at [email protected].

The First Drawing
by Mordicai Gerstein

Imagine you were born before the invention of drawing, more than thirty thousand years ago.

Mr. Cornell’s Dream Boxes by Jeanette Winter

Joseph Cornell loved to draw and paint and collect things. With these drawings and paintings and collected treasures, he made marvelous shadowboxes—wonderlands covered in glass. And who did he most like to share them with? Children, of course. For they noticed all the details and took in all the magic Mr. Cornell had created.

Art Workshop for Children:   How to Foster Original Thinking With More Than 24 Process Art Experiences by Barbara Rucci and Besty McKenna

Art Workshop for Children is not just another book of straightforward art projects. The book's unique child-led approach provides a framework for cultivating creative thinking and encourages the wonder that comes when children are allowed to freely explore the creative process and their materials. 

Seurat and La Grande Jatte:  Connecting the Dots by Robert Burleigh

An analysis of Georges Seurat's famous painting, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, including where and when it was made, interesting details, and the techniques used to create a sense of stillness.

An Eye for Color:  The Story of Josef Albers by Natasha Wing

As a child, Josef Albers loved to watch his handyman father paint houses. When Josef grew up and became an artist, he reduced each image to its simplest shapes, breaking it down into blocks of color.

Funny Bones:  Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh

Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities—came to be. In addition being a great biography of José Guadalupe Posada, this book details the how-tos of different printing techniques like etching and lithography. Ties in nicely with Día de los Muertos.

Dream Something Big by Dianna Hutts Aston and Susan L. Roth

Between 1921 and 1955, Italian immigrant Simon Rodia transformed broken glass, seashells, pottery, and a dream to "do something big" into a U.S. National Landmark. Readers watch the towers rise from his little plot of land in Watts, California. A final, innovative "build-your-own-tower" activity makes this multicultural, intergenerational tribute a classroom natural. 

Discovering Great Artists:  Hands-on Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga

75 great artists featured in 110 amazingly fun and unique quality art appreciation activities for children. They will experience the styles and techniques of the great masters, from the Renaissance to the Present.


Best Practices

  1. All aerosols should be sprayed outdoors with no children present. Be sure to have proper ventilation and protect the work surface with a proper covering.
  2. Lacquer and varnish products should not be used by students. Only non-toxic paints available in the Art Appreciation closets should be used.
  3. Linoleum block carvers should be used only in the upper grades under the close supervision of several volunteers.
  4. Hair dryers, heat guns and high-heat glue guns should be used by adults only.