Area Middle School, High School Students Experience College Classes
Students in gifted programs at area school districts had the opportunity to experience college classes, and prepare for their future education at Penn State DuBois. Over 50 gifted students in grades six through twelve, from nine area schools participated in the campus' Gifted Workshop on October 26.
The workshop focused on the arts, featuring sample classes in writing and artwork. For the workshop, Penn State DuBois faculty members, Tony Vallone, English professor, and Mary Vollero, art instructor, designed classes that complimented one another, in order to show students some different ways that they can find artistic and academic motivation.
Students were split into two groups; one group started with the writing portion, authoring poems, and the other began with an art lesson, where they produced a painting. During the second session, the groups switched classes, and each student was required to produce work that was inspired by what they completed in their first session. Half completed poems inspired by their paintings, while the other half painted pictures inspired by the poems they had written.
"Hopefully, they'll remember that good writing is vivid and real, and evokes feelings from a reader," said Vallone, explaining the underlying lessons in the workshop. He said using writing and artwork together helps students learn visualization when taking on a project.
"I think it makes perfect sense," said DuBois Area High School Junior Monica Sheffo. "I know I visualize when I write, so using art together with writing is the logical next step."
Both portions of the workshop were inspired by Asian forms of art. Paintings were done in a far eastern style, while each poem was written as a haibun, a Japanese composition style.
Following the workshops, the middle school and high school students had lunch with current Penn State DuBois students, where they had the chance to learn more about the college experience.