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Fair Oaks Elementary Students Embrace Art
Visiting Art Teacher Annie Wyrick works with a Fair Oaks classroom on an art project as part of the school’s Mistlin Art program. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Fair Oaks Falcons are spreading their wings in the art world and their Parent Teacher Club could not be more thrilled. Thanks to fundraising by way of the annual Jog-a-thon, the Fair Oaks PTC has been able to replace the once popular Art Corps program with Mistlin Art.

According to Falcon parent and PTC member Jennilyn Tolboe, the Art Corps program came to a halt for the school post-COVID. Anxious to find another program to enrich the students, the PTC became aware of the Mistlin Art program. Tolboe shared the group became aware of the program through a parent during a PTC meeting.

“It was fantastic,” Tolboe said of bringing the new program to the students in the 2022-23 school year. “We got feedback from the teachers. Teachers who had done Art Corps and compared the two. They said we love this even more.”

Continuing to sing the praises of the Modesto based program, Tolboe shared that with remaining supplies from their prior Art Corps Program, the current art program agreed to work with them, utilizing the materials they had on hand.

Each week trained art teacher Annie Wyrick works with classes from kindergarten through sixth grade, averaging once a month per class.

“Art in the classroom is a phenomenal opportunity for kids to express themselves in different ways they may not in math or English,” Tolboe shared, noting that through the program the students have worked with oils, pastels, water color and drawing.

“They did a beautiful drawing of Half Dome last year,” she added. “That was fun and I thought that was really cool for the kids to learn something about California.”

It is through the support of fundraising as well as budget support from Principal Ben Cortes that has assisted with the program continuing on at the campus for a second year.

Tolboe acknowledged the disappointment by some parents who are no longer able to help in the classroom art program, as they did with Art Corps. However, she feels it’s important for them to know that through their support in fundraising, programs such as these are possible.

“The kids love it,” she said. “Even though some parents wish they could still be in the classroom, I think this is hopefully a way that they know they can be helping. Giving back to their kids through this opportunity.”