The Columbia Museum of Art Reading and Art Program for Third-Graders a Success

May 29, 2014

COLUMBIA, SC – The Columbia Museum of Art, in collaboration with Richland Library and the South Carolina State Library, provided a special arts and literacy field trip to more than 500 third-grade students from unincorporated Richland County, along with Kershaw and Newberry counties, during April and May. “All Around Town, All Around the State” is a hands-on reading and art program that provides students with a rare cultural experience to which these eight-year-old children might not otherwise be exposed. This year Boundary Street Elementary and Gallman Elementary in Newberry, C.C. Pinckney Elementary in Fort Jackson, Conder Elementary and Bookman Road Elementary in Richland County-District 8, and Doby’s Mill Elementary and Blaney Elementary in Kershaw participated. The first-ever on-site presentations of the program occurred at the Conder and Bookman Road campuses this year, making the experience accessible to students unable to travel to the Museum.

“This program is always a delight and such a great way to combine art, literature, and history to teach children in an engaging way,” says Kerry Kuhlkin-Hornsby, CMA director of education. “We are excited this year to take ‘All Around Town’ directly to children on-site at their schools that were unable to make it downtown. It is encouraging to see the program grow to reach even more students.”

The program includes three components: a dynamic, interactive reading by African-American author Dinah Johnson of her book All Around Town about the photographs of Richard Samuel Roberts, who hails from Columbia; a guided tour of the Museum’s portrait collection to view original paintings and photographs including work by Roberts; and a hands-on studio arts component that supports student learning by creating a work of art to imagine what a person’s life was like.

“The South Carolina State Library was happy to once again partner with the Columbia Museum of Art and Richland Library,” says Denise Lyons, director of library development at the S.C. State Library. “This high-quality, multi-component program is one example of how we view successful partnerships in the state between libraries and museums. This year we were able to welcome children from parts of the state who had not yet had the chance to participate. The uniqueness of the program is that children are exposed to original works of art at the museum, using that experience to create their own original artwork, followed by a trip to the Richland Library to engage with librarians and story, encouraging them to visit the public libraries in their own counties. It is a winning combination for third graders who are at such a critical learning juncture.”

The CMA is very grateful to the South Carolina State Library for providing a copy of Johnson’s book to each student and for funding the author’s participation, and to Richland Library for all their support in making the program a success.

A special thanks to South Carolina Bank and Trust (SCBT) for its commitment to community enrichment and art education and for its generous support which helped fund All Around Town, All Around the State.

“We are excited to be a part of this much-needed program, which provides access to the arts to students of lower-income families,” says Montague Laffitte, president, SCBT Central Region. “Exposing children to the arts at a young age helps them be more well-rounded, creating greater opportunities for their future.”


About the CMA   

The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, SC, CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses nearly 7,000 works and spans thousands of years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 135,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, Arts & Draughts parties and craft haven gatherings. It is the recipient of a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education and an Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Award for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina.