Imperial Elementary students recreate ‘Downey Doodle-icious’

DOWNEY – Last Friday, Kiwanis of Downey and Stay Gallery visited Imperial Elementary School to gift the school the finished mural created by one of its third grade classes. The mural was created by students while participating in Stay Gallery’s “Downey Doodle-icious” Field Trip Program.

With support from the Downey Kiwanis Foundation, Downey Federal Credit Union, and other community partners who sponsored the organization’s Stay Young Initiative, 13 different third-grade classes participated in this program which brought students into Downtown Downey.

The field trip program presents students with a tour of Downtown Downey, including stops at area landmarks such as City Hall, the Avenue Theatre, the Rives Mansion, Porto’s Bakery, and Stay Gallery. Students learn cultural and historical significance of the various sites and memorials during their guided walking tour.

While at City Hall, students receive instructions to the basic foundations of local government, economy, and community by council members and staff members. Students visit the council chambers and other city departments, learning about each department and their responsibilities.

After the tour, students visit Downey High School, where students from Career Technical Education (CTE) participating in the Principles in Education program greet the kids and conduct an art integration lesson plan. First, using old photographs donated by Downey Historical Society, students are taken on a historical journey of the sites they visited during their walking tour. The main point of this lesson is to teach students the concept of change over time, officials said.

Next, using Don Lamkin’s “Downey Doodle-icious” painting (which has now become a mural in Downtown Downey), Stay Gallery staff and CTE students incorporate mathematical scaling techniques and an introduction to color theory to create a larger version of the original art piece. Upon completion, Stay Gallery staff puts all the different pieces of the mural together and donates it back to their corresponding schools.

Each mural is comprised of 30 different segments painted by each student. One of the main goals of the program is to teach students that “they are an integral part along with other components that make-up our larger community.”

These field trips are part of Stay Gallery’s larger youth initiative, properly called the Stay Young Initiative, whose mission is to ensure that the arts are included in “21st century education, ensuring that students use creativity as they become college and career ready, globally competitive, and citizens of strong character.”

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Published: Feb. 19, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 45