Can visual art help inspire young minds and develop important skills our children need? Wendy Halperin answers with a definite “Yes!” Wendy is a long-time children's book illustrator who started an initiative called Drawing Children Into Reading. The program has grown to include an amazing 5,000 schoolchildren in her home state of Michigan.
Drawing Children Into Reading is designed to teach fine motor skills to young children through drawing and coloring in a group setting. The title of the program hints at the fact that Wendy believes—and studies prove—that the kind of motor skills children learn with drawing result in better handwriting and even better reading skills. Plus, if there's one thing kids love, it's drawing, and the program has developed longer attention spans—sometimes 70 minutes per session—which have amazed teachers.
“Drawing is a great tool for communicating and remembering things,” Wendy told us. “We have a serious problem in this country where kids don't know how to hold pencils and where cursive handwriting is becoming obsolete. Anyone can learn how to draw, and anyone can pick up these essential skills. The best way to learn drawing is to draw with someone—the visual language does not translate well into words—and that's what Drawing Children Into Reading is all about.”
Initially, Wendy visited school assemblies and worked on an easel in front of large groups. The awkwardness of working with the easel for presentations, along with the fact that students sometimes couldn't see the canvas very well, prompted Wendy to look for an alternative way to present her drawing lessons. She found the Point 2 View USB Document Camera, and has been hooked ever since.
“The Point 2 View is phenomenal,” Wendy said, “and it's perfect for the crucial thing we need to capture—the hand drawing on a sheet of paper. When I got the camera, I was amazed how small it was, especially considering the big, clunky pieces of equipment I'm used to working with. It also has great resolution and great color reproduction, which are vital for our purposes. In all, I'd compare the Point 2 View to a lightning bolt. It's really sent a tremendous charge into my program.”
Wendy also has a message for teachers who might feel a document camera is out of their budget:
“Other document cameras can be expensive, $500 and up. With the Point 2 View, there's no excuse not to get one. This affordable camera is a whole new way to deliver fine motor skills to your students.”
Thanks very much to Wendy for sharing her story, and we encourage you to visit her website. And remember, the Point 2 View USB Document Camera is only $69 through the IPEVO Store, with free shipping included.
* Prices are subject to change, please visit www.ipevo.com for the latest price infomation.
* Find more tips and stories about P2V at www.ipevo.com/p2v.