As a DePauw University Bonner Scholar, Chelsea Naylor was keenly aware of the Bonner program's mission of community involvement.
As an art major, the DePauw junior was also concerned about the lack of funding art programs receive in the state of Indiana.
The two ideas came together to give Naylor a big idea: Why not offer area students the chance to learn a little bit of art history and apply what they've learned in a fun, interactive setting?
The result is "JumpstART," an hour-long program on the first Saturday of each month to teach kids in kindergarten through fifth grade a little more about art and to have a chance to make some of their own.
The program takes place from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center, 10 W. Hanna St.
"It's not supposed to replace what's going on at school," Naylor said. "It's supposed to enhance it."
This week, that enhancement will take the form of a lesson about 20th century American artist Jackson Pollock. The short presentation about the artist and his revolutionary methods will be followed by the really fun part -- go outside a splatter some paint.
"Here's the history, and now let's apply it," Naylor said of the program's methods. "Kids can keep doing art as long as they're told to do art, as long as it's interactive."
The September lesson had a similar outside-the-box approach to making a work of art. Following a short lesson on Michelangelo, students were asked to think of a narrative and then draw it on paper taped to the bottom of tables -- Sistine Chapel-style.
At the end of the semester, all student works will be displayed for a public art show at the Peeler.
The art show and the fact that the art is produced in a studio (with the exception of the Jackson Pollock stuff) shows students art can be more than just a hobby.
"You can still do art as a career," Naylor said. "Art is still a crucial aspect of a society."
Naylor said she is modeling the program on DePauw's highly successful Sports Night, which has been bringing local elementary students on campus for sports-related activities for 21 years.
For more information on JumpstART, contact Naylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although Naylor and her fellow Bonner Scholars came up with JumpstART on their own, they have found several like-minded Greencastle organizations sponsoring similar program.
The Putnam County Museum, Putnam County Public Library and Greencastle Parks and Recreaction Department each sponsor an art-related program on one Saturday each month.
Together, the four programs make up the "Saturday Stations," with one program from 10:30-11:30 a.m. each week.
"It was very convenient that I was scheduling my program at the same time they were scheduling theirs," Naylor said.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, the Putnam County Museum will host a children's program focusing on the new aviation and airport history exhibit while doing aviation crafts and games. There will be paper airplane making and a competition for best "pilot."
Call Tanis Monday at the Museum at 653-8418 for details.
The Parks and Recreation Department will follow on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the library's Kiwanis Room. The event will focus on apple carving, pumpkin decorating and creating with Mr. Potato Head.
Pre-registration is requested at 301-0504.
Finally, on Oct. 27, kids can really get into the Halloween spirit by "Getting Our Mask On" at the library. The event will include spooky stories and a chance to make masks the kids can take home with them.
For information, call Cortina Ziuchkovski at 653-2755, extension 121.
Besides the chance for kids to get involved nearly every Saturday morning, Naylor expressed her happiness to be involved in the Greencastle community.
"At DePauw we always talk about 'leaving our bubble.' We stay on campus nine months a year, so it's presumptuous of us to ignore the city that's supported us for 175 years."