Parent Volunteer Art Team


First Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

(simply ask and more will be created)

Parent Volunteer Art Team

St. John parent volunteers supplement the regular art instruction by offering an art session roughly once a month on Fridays for each class.  This page serves as a resource for the art volunteers.  Please contact Pat James if you would like to be able to edit this page and add more information, or if you would like a grade-specific web page created to keep an online journal of projects completed.

We hope to pass on successful project ideas to future volunteers.

If you are with grades 3 – 5, Rachel Oximana asks that you save art projects to share at grandparents’ day.

Following are some guidelines and information for art volunteers:


The dates and times are fixed.  They cannot be rescheduled.  The mezzanine is a carefully scheduled resource.  Any schedule changes impact other planned events.

Volunteers may negotiate with teachers to conduct multi-session projects.  This is particularly interesting to the teachers when the project supports curriculum being taught in the classroom.  With that said, there are many advantages to carefully planning a project such that it can be completed during the time allotted in the mezzanine.  Ferrying projects and materials between the mezzanine and the classroom for storage is a challenge.

Mrs. Desclos distributed her schedule for the year.  In general she is available from 9:30 – 12:20 to meet with you if you need help planning a project or have materials you need to find or have purchased.

1:45 – 2:45 sessions bear some risk of being cancelled due to school assemblies and Stations of the Cross.  This time slot also needs to be sure tables and chairs are put away at the end of art so the staff can clean the room.

Classes with the 10:30am time slot need to do art in the classroom until the end of the first trimester.


The school has a vast supply of art materials.  Volunteers planning projects should spend time taking in all that is stored and build projects around the supplies available.  There are many unique items just waiting to be incorporated into an art project.  Always check with Mrs. Desclos before purchasing something.  Very often the school already has what you are purchasing; it is not always obvious where it is.

The main supply area is the mezzanine closet.  A key is available in the office.  Feel free to go into the closet at any time, even if a class is underway in the mezzanine.  Mrs. Desclos did some cleanup of old supplies.  Please keep it neat and tidy.

There are two art carts in the boys bathroom in the portables.  These have basic supplies such as brushes, paints, water colors, oil pastels, and some colored paper.  These are useful if you need to carryover your project to an additional session in one of the portable classrooms.  Miss. Schifferman’s room has a sink and bucket/basin.

Refill glue bottles as needed.  Paint put into tupperware containers (in cupboards above sink in the mezzanine) will keep if covered.  No need to dump it in the sink.

Do not take things from the mezzanine.  You may be taking something that another class is planning to use.

There are additional supplies in the school building:

  • There is a large supply room on the ground floor west end.  Only use items on shelves marked as art supplies.  There are gallons of paint and glue, boxes of new watercolors, and paper in all sizes up to rolls of butcher paper here as well as many other items.
  • A white cabinet outside Mr. Thomas’ room on the second floor has additional supplies, including some books that have project ideas.  There are also doodle and coloring books here that may be photocopied as warm up or ending activities.  Make copies in the office using the art code.
  • Additional cabinets on the third floor, east end, have more supplies.
  • In the library there are books about important artists, more project and coloring books, and DVDs about specific artists.

Other Resources

There is a guy involved in music at the school who also has a pottery business.  He will donate clay for your project.  The mezzanine closet already has some clay he donated.  Check with Mrs. Desclos for his contact information if you need more.

Heidi Austin has a kiln which she can make available. is a web site that has project ideas.

Mrs. Desclos has a book she recommends titled “Making Amazing Art”.  Ask her if you would like to borrow her copy.

Blick Art on Capitol Hill has a great web site with project ideas.  They will give you a discount if you tell them it is for a school art project.


It is very important to leave the mezzanine neater than you found it.  Please clean up any spills or messes.

Teach the children to use resources wisely.  Promote recycling and avoiding unnecessary waste.

The Frye is teaching a parent art class on October 26, 2012.  This may be of interest to parents looking for ideas or inspiration.

Organizing Your Class Team

For younger grades it is advisable to have 4 – 6 parents (or more!) at each art session.  The children will need help.

A model that has worked in the past is for an individual parent to volunteer to lead a specific day’s art project.  They plan the project, test it out to be sure it is within the capabilities of the class and the time available, and come prepared to lead the project.  The other parents show up ready to help execute.  The tables in the room can be organized into different stations with specific parents leading each station.  Plan to have filler or backup activities such as coloring or other easy to deploy projects should some students finish the main project early.  Younger children often tear through planned projects very quickly.  It can be advantageous to break the project up into discrete steps to build “firebreaks” between the steps to slow them down and force them to be a little more thoughtful about their projects.

Please plan to use the school web site to document successful projects and lessons learned for future volunteers.  Any art team can have a page setup for their grade or class on the web site that they can edit.  Pat James is available to set these up and provide instructions on how to edit content and upload documents to the site.