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 Preschoolers Show Creative Side at Art Show

Young artists showed off their work last week at Lemon Grove School District’s annual preschool art show.

The exhibit at Lemon Grove Academy May 22 featured a variety of artistic creations from the more than 300 students in the school district’s Early Childhood Education program, which includes children ages 3 to 5 at the district’s six school sites.

A teacher with the Lemon Grove preschool program had the idea to start the art show three years ago as a way to encourage creative expression, promote teamwork, involve parents, and build self-esteem, said Donna Wilson, director of the program.

“Art is another way for children to express themselves,” Wilson said. “In the preschool program, we really focus on the whole child. Art is just another way of doing that.”

This year’s event was a big success, with about 100 people attending and at least two pieces of art from each student in the program. Pieces ranged from paintings and construction-paper creations to decorative robots.

It’s empowering for the students to see their art displayed in a public venue at shows like this, Wilson said.

“They are so proud,” she said. “It increases and improves their confidence and their abilities.”

All of the work the children did was tied to the California Preschool Learning Foundations, which outline key knowledge and skills students can learn in early education programs.

The program in Lemon Grove is part of the First Five San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative, a partnership between the San Diego County Office of Education and First 5 San Diego that works to ensure there are high-quality early education programs in high-need areas.

The initiative serves more than 13,000 students in more than 200 locations across the county.

Through the effort, SDCOE employees work with early education teachers and administrators to help insure high-quality education that helps build important school-readiness and social skills. By focusing on regions with lower incomes and test scores, the goal is to raise student achievement and close the achievement gap by enhancing existing programs.