Art Literacy Getting Started: August


A) Artist Boxes - The Materials Coordinator (Melody Ball) will notify you when your first two boxes are ready to be picked up from her at her home. One coordinator in the block may have requested to pick up all of them, in which case, you will get your boxes from this person. Melody will email you to let you know if a coordinator in your block has them all or if you need to pick up your first two from her.


B) Volunteers- Check with Secretary mid-August to find out when Back to School packets are put together. Provide an Art Literacy Volunteer sign up form to be included. (See Samples) Using a separate sheet for Art Lit lets it be returned to you, rather than waiting for the list from the PTO sign-up sheet.

Arrange for your form to go into the packets or to go home from the classroom. Find out whether you need to copy the form for the office or if they prefer to copy it. Copy it onto colored paper, pastels are easier to read than darker colors.


C )Meeting Dates - Determine the dates for your training meetings for the year. Check the Artist Rotation schedule for the order of your artist boxes and how long you have each one. Fill out a Building Use Form for your training meetings. The office secretary has these. Also check the school district calendar for “No School Dates” etc. Give your volunteers a copy of all of the dates at the first training meeting.


D) Lesson Materials- Review your first two artist boxesand decide on the art productions you will be doing. Contact your parent group president or treasurer to be sure you know the budget number they have available for Art Literacy. Plan accordingly.


E) Master Calendar – Provide a master calendar for scheduling. Print a free blank one, purchase one (dollar store) white board etc. Post it with your cart or other area where staff and volunteers can access it.


F)Bulletin Board-Put up your first bulletin board the week before school starts. Buildings are open the last week in August.

This could be an overview of the artists for the current year, simply “Art Literacy Coming” or information on your first artist lesson. Check the review envelope in each box for prints of all of the artists in your block. Or...let creativity be your guide!


September 1st  Week

A)   Volunteer information goes home in back-to-school packets.

1.    Email or call previous volunteers to find out who is returning and which classrooms they are interested in teaching. Let them know date, time and place for the first training meeting.

2.    Check the school website for a list of the classroom teachers and grades they are teaching to start your roster. Or ask the secretary for this info.

3.    Begin to put a roster together of volunteers, their email, phone and classroom teachers they are assigned to.


2nd - 3rd Week

A)   Continue recruiting as needed.

B)   Send an email or letter to teachers requesting their best days and times they have available for presentations. You likely will have to follow up with some of them. Ask them to return it to you within a few days. (See sample.)

C)   Put the teacher’s schedule information together for your first volunteer training meeting. This greatly helps to facilitate volunteers scheduling the lessons without having to wait for each one to contact the classroom teachers.  If the time available from the teacher doesn’t work for the volunteer, then they can contact the teacher to try to work out one that does.

D)   Check with the school secretary for the enrollment numbers so you know how many students you will need to purchase supplies for.

E)   Check with the school secretary to be sure your volunteers have cleared their background check before volunteering in the classroom.

F)    If you are ordering your art production supplies online, do this early.

G)    If you are new to coordinating, attend the New Coordinators’ Tea arranged by the Art Literacy Volunteer and Resource Coordinators. This is usually held the second week of school and you will receive an invitation.


3rd- 4th Week

A)   Attend the district wide Art Literacy Coordinators’ Meeting and/or New Coordinators Tea. You will receive an invitation to these meetings.

B)   Check for new volunteer forms returning to office often and/or check with your Volunteer Coordinator as forms are returned to school.

C)   Continue recruiting classroom volunteers as needed. Attend your schools Volunteer Orientation Meeting, PTO meeting or send home letters in classrooms still needing a volunteer. Work with the PTO volunteer coordinator for help.

D)   Staff Communication

                  1.) Send the teachers an email with your contact information and how                         scheduling will be done, as well as where to find the master calendar.

                  2.) Send the teachers your roster of volunteers assigned by classroom                             with their contact information or other notice of who their volunteer  is                               and how to contact them.

                  3.) Ask volunteers to communicate the dates of the presentations with                         teachers. You may also send them a copy of the completed schedule.

E)   Decide how you will keep your parent/school community informed about what is happening in Art Literacy. The most common methods besides a bulletin board display are:

                  1.) Send home a write up on the artist with each student when they take                                 their art projects home. Check the Resource Section of each artist                                     notebook for these.

                  2.)  Ask your principal to include something in the monthly school                                           newsletter. You will need to provide a short update as to what you                                    are doing each month.

                  3.) If you chose to save the artwork to send home at the end of the year,                                include a short write up about each artist (all on one page) and the                                  production students did with the artworks.

F)    Create an email Art Literacy Group. Email a reminder to all new and returning volunteers the day before your training meeting. Arrange one on one (or ask them to sit in on your class presentation) if a new volunteer cannot attend your first training meeting.