Today Abrakadoodle joins millions in celebrating Lights On Afterschool, a campaign of the Afterschool Alliance, which recognizes the importance of providing safe, strong afterschool options for children nationwide. In a recent interview on Education Nation, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said “Not just safe but learning” when speaking about children’s experiences in afterschool programs. We applaud this thinking and the notion of providing children with brain-boosting opportunities that extend classroom learning. Abrakadoodle’s after school programs combine strong arts education with increasingly valuable creativity development, which engages children in hands on learning that emphasizes problem solving, originality and imaginative
Gains are beyond measure when children develop a sense of confidence and craftsmanship in the process of creating art. Art is such a powerful communication tool, and children in our program learn to appreciate the unique voice that each of them brings to his or her own creative endeavor. Consider enrolling your child in art afterschool to inspire your child’s imaginative skill building!
April & Isaac bring a love of art, children and education to their new Abrakadoodle location in Oklahoma City
Three years ago while serving in Iraq, April Rose read a cover story about the Abrakadoodle art education franchise in Black Enterprise magazine that fueled her desire to pursue an artful future following her deployment. Hunkered down in a bunker amid rocket fire, she and her future husband imagined their new lives as arty entrepreneurs. According to April, she and Isaac talked about their plans for establshing their Abrakadoodle franchise every night. They are now launching their dream with award-winning Abrakadoodle and will be engaging children with creativity-boosting art classes, camps, parties and face-painting through its mobile art programs.
“We are so excited about how our program is going to transform children’s lives in a positive way through the magic of creating art,” said April Rose Jackson, Education Director of Abrakadoodle-Oklahoma City. “We had to work togehter a lot, which gives us an advantage as we launch our Abrakadoodle enterprise,” Isaac noted of their Middle East deployment in U.S. Army logistics.
“The Jackson’s have been the picture of patience these past few years,” commented Rosemarie Hartnett, CFE, President & Co-Founder of Abrakadoodle, Inc. “We feel extremely fortunate to welcome these two enthusiastic, dedicated individuals to our Abrakadoodle franchise team. As industrious veterans who have served our countrywell, Isaac and April Rose bring not only an amazing work ethic but also a passion for art and education. This will be a great asset as they build their program at schools and sites throughout Oklahoma City.”
April and Isaac met in 2009 while serving in Iraq, and then married in a suprise destination wedding Isaac planned in the Cayman Islands in January 2010. With a degree in graphic design from Jackson State, April also brings a passion for scrapbooking (she has her own blog: The Purple Scrapbook) and comes from a long line of creative family members. Additionally, April’s mother was a grade school teacher for over 15 years before her death in 2000. Isaac has a degree in finance and plans to complement April’s skills by handling the accounting, product inventory and financial aspects of the business. Isaac’s mom is a school teacher in the Oklahoma Public School system, affording both he and April a special knowledge of the education industry. They both refer to the military as “family” and feel well-equipped to work within Abrakadoodle’s franchise family.
Art vs. Craft When you consider art for kids, wording can be confusing. Check out many community education catalogs and enrichment camps descriptions, and you’ll often see “arts & crafts” listed as an option for children.
What distinguishes instruction in art vs. crafts?
Process and outcomes tend to separate a visual arts experience from making crafts. While a craft workshop entails following directions to produce a specific product, a visual arts class provides instruction and encourages an exploration of materials and ideas that do not necessarily lead to a particular outcome. Creativity in craft-making tends to be limited to individual choices in terms of using color and embellishments. Creativity in the visual arts is expansive, because children generate ideas and develop them, drawing from their experiences, knowledge and imagination.
What are the benefits of each activity? In a craft class, children follow directions, which is a valuable skill. They may also become more adept at using tools, such as scissors. Fine motor skills can be enhanced with such activities as beading a necklace. In terms of outcome, most completed projects are similar because they result from following direction and basing their work on a sample or model. Children derive satisfaction from completing a project.
In a visual arts class, children learn about art using basic shapes and bright colors inspired by an artist, such as Sophie Harding. Students develop their technique, learn an arts vocabulary and benefit from using their imaginations to create original works that forms, techniques and styles. A lesson may focus on painting methods in a “Naïve” style reflect the discovery process. The discovery process helps children to understand cause and effect: what happens when I mix orange and green? Working with independent ideas facilitates the development of problem-solving skills. Art students explore abundant creative materials and experiment with color, line and form. Art education nurtures many transferable skills, including creativity, innovation, teamwork, lateral thinking, intuitive reasoning and thinking outside the box. Fine motor skills are enhanced, as well. Children tend to take great pride in creations that reflect their vision, emotions and sense of style. This is art education at its best!