‘Picturing America’ in school

Whitehall Central School will soon have some famous faces and images on its walls.


Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the school will be receiving works of art as part of the Picturing America Program, ranging from “Washington Crossing the Delaware” to images done by Norman Rockwell.

“Most are very well-known paintings,” said Bob Isherwood, chairman of the school’s library media advisory committee. “They are divided into six themes, such as leadership, and are part of a program that helps students learn through the works.”

The school will be receiving 40 large, high-quality color reproductions of selected masterpieces and comprehensive lessons plans and resources to help them teach through the Picturing America Program.

Isherwood said that he got the idea to apply for the grant after watching C-SPAN.

“I saw the director of the NEH on C-SPAN, and he was talking about the importance of visual collections and how they can help students understand the history of America,” said Isherwood. “This is the second year that the program has been offered as part of a two-year grant, and we were fortunate enough to catch it on the second year.”

Isherwood said that the school is working with Skidmore College on the project.

“Hopefully, with the help of Skidmore, what we do with this adds a little twist,” said Isherwood. “Skidmore has a program in this area through the Tang Teaching Museum and they are going to come in and provide in-service training to our teachers in April.”

Isherwood said that the paintings should be arriving at the school by the beginning of April, and that the teachers would be able to start using them in lessons before the end of the school year.

“We will have some in the library,” said Isherwood. “(Kelly) McHugh is hopeful that we are going to be able to have a spot in the high school somewhere that we can put most of them on display in that place. We will also have easels for teachers to take the paintings into the classroom. When they start will depend on the training.”

For more information on the Picturing America Program, visit the Picturing America Web site at PicturingAmerica.neh.gov.



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