"We will travel, meet new people, view artists' works and create projects that reflect our learning," Ms. Watkins said. "To travel the world is such an exciting dream, and if you aren't able to do that, then welcome to Art 2012-13!"
Ms. Watkins teaches at a high-poverty Title 1 elementary school in Charlotte, North Carolina. Due to budget cuts, she spends between $50 and $100 on art supplies for her classroom. You can help Ms. Watkins bring the world of art to her students by donating to her DonorsChoose project:
According to Watkins, the best aspect of her job is coming up with exciting projects like this. The most challenging part is working with kids who are dealing with problems at home or struggling to have enough to eat. Her goal, she says, is "to make every moment count when I have them in class, and keep them stimulated and amazed."
She remembers a student who said she felt like she was in another world when she was in art class. The little girl told Ms. Watkins that she did not feel that way anywhere else—at home or in school. She then asked if Ms. Watkins could talk to the school board about kids having art as a daily class instead of weekly.
Ms. Watkins said, "I had tears in my eyes because it was proof that kids need this outlet—the arts—to grow and become the individuals they will be as adults. I am so glad my class was a 'good' part of her week."
Jenny is the Education Editor at TakePart. She has been writing for TakePart since 2009 and previously worked in film and television development. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles. Email Jenny | @jennyinglee | TakePart.com