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Library Wins Ezra Jack Keats Minigrant

Posted: Mon, Aug 18, 2014

The Library's art teacher, Alexis Starke, is one of 60 teachers and librarians across 27 states who have been awarded an Ezra Jack Keats Minigrant to help bring their inventive programs to students. To receive this award, the educators applied for funding to implement specific programs that foster creative expression, working together and interaction with a diverse community.

Alexis Starke will use her grant to teach a special series of art classes for kids in grades 4 - 8 this fall at the Library, Artists-in-Residence at the Piermont Library and Piermont Marsh. Students will become Artists-in-Residence, exploring the Piermont Marsh, Sparkill Creek, and Hudson River, taking photographs and sketching along the way. They will then use the photographs and sketches as references for a number of printmaking projects using monotype, blockprinting, and photo-transfer. Approximately 11,000 years old, the 1000-acre Piermont Marsh is an ecologically unique component of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve. The grant from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation will provide students with cameras, monotype gel printing plates, block printing carving tools, brayers and printing inks. The class will culminate with an exhibit of the students' work in the Library Gallery.

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation fosters children's love of reading and creative expression in our diverse culture. Since 1987, the Foundation, established by the late Caldecott award-winning children's book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, has provided more than $820,000 in support of Minigrant programs spanning the 50 states and the U.S. Commonwealth.

Public Education is one of the greatest legacies of our country, one that benefits children from every walk of life. For Keats, it was at public school that he received his greatest encouragement to pursue his vocation as an artist and at the public library that he found a haven that introduced him to the wonders of art history. To offer a similar experience to new generations, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation created the Minigrant Program.

For more information on the Foundation, please visit www.ezra-jack-keats.org

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