Miami Trace Middle School art teacher, Lyndsey Mincey, was recently selected as a recipient for the Inspire Art Award from Scholastic and LIFEWTR.
Scholastic, an American multinational publishing education and media company, and LIFEWTR, a premium bottled water brand, created this award to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, which is winding down to an end this year—May 5-11.
Only 10 recipients in the country were chosen for this award in recognition of their commitment to inspiring arts or creativity in their classrooms. It comes with a $1,000 grant for use in their school or classroom, as well as art supplies worth $100.
Mincey explained she had an advantage in the competition because she is an art teacher—but everyday she tries to involve a different medium that exposes the children to different artists and art styles. She said, “I try to encourage them to experiment and use their imaginations to make things different and unique.”
Mincey said she hopes the children see her passion for art and feel inspired to make their own art.
When asked why art is important, Mincey explained, “It’s a way for them to express their feelings. It gets their imagination going—too many kids are stifled with their creativity. They’re scared to step outside the box.”
“I think it’s so important that we don’t lose arts and creativity in the classroom,” Mincey said. Not only is art a way for children to gain confidence in themselves, but it is a way to foster thinking for oneself.
Mincey said, “They’re scared to use their imaginations because it’s not something they’ve seen before. We’re making too many cookie-cutters.”
One of her eighth-grade students recently asked why they even have art.
Mincey explained that everywhere you look there is art—it’s all around us and it helps to teach many things—including things about different cultures.
Tips from Mincey for teachers (including those who aren’t art teachers) include giving students options, giving students a little leeway in projects so there isn’t one right or wrong way to do it, and encouraging self-expression.
Mincey hopes to use some of the funds from the award to increase the kind of art she can expose her students to. “Art supplies are not cheap. I’d love to buy some things so they could do some more sculptures or ceramics. I’d love to incorporate a little bit more of that into my curriculum for sure.”
“Creativity is contagious—it’s not wrong to like somebody else’s work and feel inspired to go make your own,” Mincey said. “Always think different—just think different and creative.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.