Kids get artistic at the Albion Municipal Library

ALBION – Monday afternoon, kids ranging in age from three to 12 years old gathered in the meeting room of the Albion Municipal Library and Heritage Center for this week’s installment of Art-palooza.

The art time, which is free of charge, and part of the Summer Reading Program, is instructed by Danielle Platt, who teaches kindergarten at Anson Elementary School. Combining elements of literature, science, math and art, she brings hour-long programing to school-aged kids at the library. For Monday’s class, she had participants make dandelion cards, whereby they painted flowers on construction paper then wrote special notes inside to give to loved ones. Children could also just color or play with Legos, or a combination of the three.

“We try to make the projects work for multiple ages,” Platt said. “Things can be modified based on skill level. It’s neat to see different interpretations the kids come up with.”

Platt said the class size varies week to week, and she has some loyal attendees, plus she sees new faces at every session. Some parents sit in with their children, aiding in the artwork, while other kids like to come with siblings or their friends.

“I like that we aren’t graded for the artwork,” said attendee Kadence Hartwell, 12. “In school you have to follow things more exactly and get points taken off if you don’t. I love school art, but my brother Lucas and I really liked coming to this. It was our first time.”

Platt said she thinks she gets as much out of the experience as the children do.

“I enjoy all the conversations with the kids and I get to learn from them what the area schools do for art class,” she said. “I try to make this something different than what they do in school and have them try different mediums and techniques, which is part of the art experience.”

On Monday, July 18, the youngsters will get to paint coasters splashed with rubbing alcohol to achieve a tie dye look.

In addition to Art-palooza, on July 19, at 2:30 p.m., Iowa State University’s Insect Zoo will be on hand with creepy crawlies. On July 20 at 2 p.m., kids can attend the Animal Olympics, led by naturalist Diane Hall. The Blank Park Zoo at the Library is coming July 28 at 3 p.m. with the zoo bringing creatures that can interact with children.

To participate in Art-palooza, or the library’s other Summer Reading Program events, please register your child by visiting the library’s check out desk. To learn more, contact the library at 641-488-2226. Art-palooza is held Mondays at 2 p.m., now through August 8.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com