"The Mission Statement of HAPA"

Our mission is to actively support the art teachers and students of Highland Community Unit School District No. 5 as they foster creativity and an appreciation of the visual arts.

  In order to achieve our mission:

·      We will raise funds for the art department

·      Provide our student with opportunities to develop their talents 
·      Encourage the school district and area   businesses to showcase student artwork 

11 Places for Kids to Learn and Experiment with Art: 
Obtained from resource article by Karen Schweitzer

The web is a great place for kids to learn and experiment with art. There are sites that teach art history and theory, sites that offer easy-to use tools for mess-free creations, and sites that provide interactive games and activities. Here are 25 kid-friendly art sites and tools to explore today:

The Art Zone - Provided by the National Gallery of Art, The Art Zone hosts tons of excellent interactive painting and drawing activities. Kids can work with photos and paint like the masters online. 
ArtistAuthor - This online art site offers free drawing and painting activities for students and teachers. ArtistAuthor updates activities daily and also provides tips and lessons for improving art techniques. 
ArtInThePicture - ArtInThePicture is an introductory art history site that can be used to introduce older children to art history. The site provides a history of art through full color images, videos, and links to online museums. 
Mr.PicassoHead - Mr.PicassoHead is a site that allows you to create faces using Picasso's strokes and techniques. This site is the perfect place to gain an understanding of modern art's unique style.
A. Pintura Art Detective - This interactive art history game is a fun and easy way for students to learn about and interact with art history. 
Art Games - The AlbrightKnox Art Gallery offers this interactive site for students who want to play art games. This fun site also offers art history and writing resources, painting tools, and a personalized art studio. 
ArtPad - This free online painting tool allows you to use brushes and paints to create your own piece of art. ArtPad is a mess free way for kids to express themselves and learn painting techniques. 
Jackson Pullock - This free tool allows students to create art using the splatter technique of Jackson Pullock. Simply pull your mouse around the screen to paint with colorful patterns. 
Kaleidoscope Painter - This free web app provides the tools necessary to create customized kaleidoscope images online. Students can create colorful pieces of kaleidoscope art that can be saved or printed.
MyOats - MyOats is an online community that allows students to create art with an online drawing application. The art is then rated, downloaded, and archived. This is a wonderful way for children to see and connect with other artists. 
Keith Haring's Interactive Coloring Book - This interactive coloring book is perfect for elementary children. Kids can drag characters, letters, and colors onto the canvas to create their own coloring page. 

Skills that children learn from the arts:

Creativity –  If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.
Problem Solving
 – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.
Perseverance – When a child picks up a paint brush for the first time, she/he knows that painting like Van Gogh right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that masterpiece is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.
Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.
Non-Verbal Communication – Through experiences with different art mediums children learn to express themselves non-verbally in a variety of ways.
Receiving Constructive Feedback – Receiving constructive feedback about a visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. 
Dedication – When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product , they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. 

Excerpts taken from: Top 10 skills children learn from the arts 
by Lisa Phillips  - The Washington Post