An oft-seen T-shirt these days reads “Earth without art is just Eh.” Imagine then the similarity to a school without art. “Eh?” Hayward’s Leadership Public High School had no art class when it began. Students were there—a beginning freshman class—to strengthen their academics: English, Math, and Science.
However, by the time that first class were seniors, the need for art was apparent. Now the art teacher, David Keating, has been there 7 years, the school’s only art teacher. At first, he only had one level of art. However, a more advanced class has been added this year and the school’s more visual learners are ecstatic.
Additionally, on a campus built as an elementary school, his art class has now moved to a former kindergarten room. The former outdoor kiddy playground is now an outdoor art workshop: a place to spray, to dry, to enjoy working outdoors.
And a large new study hall has provided wall space for the art students to display their work. In early February, in fact, they had their very first “Art’s Night Out!” with family and community invited to view their work.
This display was made possible through a grant from the Hayward Education Foundation. Art galleries require paintings or drawings to be matted, to give the work a professional appearance. To make this possible, last year Mr. Keating applied for an H.E.F. grant. The goal? A mat-cutting machine.
David Keating loves to teach and create every type of art: sculpture, pottery, drawing, painting, wood-cutting, even T-shirts. Next year, something new--mosaics! But when students produce drawing and painting, and in one case, photo-shopped photography, the finished masterpieces must be matted. With the addition of the H.E.F. mat machine, now the students can mat their own work, and the results are impressive.
The Hayward Education Foundation provided 38 grants totaling over $22,000 last year. These grants supported classrooms all over Hayward, from public to private, from kindergarten through high school, and in virtually all areas of the curriculum.
For the past 31 years, the Hayward Education Foundation has granted nearly one million dollars to Hayward teachers. By supporting talented classroom teachers such as David Keating, H.E.F. has provided them the tools to enhance their creativity, to implement the kind of lessons that students remember all of their lives.
Mr. Keating would love to see the elective programs at Leadership Public School expanded. With continued grants from H.E.F., this could happen. Anyone who wants to support Hayward schools, teachers, and students should support the Hayward Education Foundation.