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Art Literacy

An entirely volunteer-led program that encourages children to continually grow in their ability to make, understand and communicate about art.

Art Lit Classroom Slideshow

Feb/March Artist: JMW Turner CLICK HERE

Feb/March Watercolor Project: JMW Turner CLICK HERE

Feb/March Artist Slide Notes: JMW Turner CLICK HERE


January Artist: Rivera CLICK HERE

January Mural Project: CLICK HERE

January Artist Slide Notes: CLICK HERE

Art Literacy Artist Training Dates

We will meet in Building E (the green pod on the left side in front of Uplands)

- Jan. 8th from 6:30-7:30pm, Rivera
- Feb. 5th from 6:30-7:30pm, Turner
- April 8th from 6:30-7:30pm, Wood
- May 6th from 6:30-7:30pm, Potter

Art Literacy FAQ's

What is Art Literacy?

Art Literacy is a program for all elementary and middle school students in the Lake Oswego School District. It is exclusively managed by volunteers and funded by the PTO.

Through the program, students:

  • Learn about important artists and cultures
  • Practice different art forms (sculpture, painting, and drawing) 
  • Discuss art principals (lines, form, and color).
  • Create their own artwork inspired by the artists covered each session

What do Art Lit classroom volunteers do?

Art Lit classroom volunteers go into their children’s classrooms a total of seven times a year. They present a quick 10-15 minute presentation about an artist, highlighting specific elements and principles in their art. It’s not an art history lesson, it helps children learn how to talk about art and what they see.

Then volunteers walk the students through a project based on the work of that artist. They lay out materials for the project and encourage the children to explore art. Volunteers help with cleanup, then take the art and display it on the walls of the main school building.

What is the time commitment for Art Lit Classroom Volunteers?

Volunteering for Art Lit takes about 2-3 hours a month, (normally) seven months of the year. That breaks into:

  • About 1 hour for the evening training session
  • About 1 hour in the classroom
  • Some setup/cleanup and getting art hung on the walls or off the walls if applicable
  • On occasion, some prep or lesson modification is required (especially for younger grades)

Where does the presentation come from?

There’s a large packet of artist information and multiple slideshows for each artist at The art literacy coordinator puts together a condensed version of this information to ensure they have 5-7 slides for the 3-5 grade classes and 3-4 slides for the 1-2 grade classes.

How do the art project materials get to the classroom?

Art Literacy materials are on carts in the Art Literacy storage room. Grab a cart and roll it to your classroom. It will contain all the art supplies needed to create the project as well as a guide on how to complete the project.

Do I have to be an artist?


Do I have to know anything about art?

No, but you will learn about art and you may find there’s an artist you love.

Do I have to talk in front of people?

One member of the team will present the artist to the classroom. One member (it could be the same person) will present the steps for the project. As long as one person is willing to talk, you don’t have to, but by the end of the year your confidence may change.

How does the schedule for the classroom presentation get set up?

The teacher provides two options that fit the class’s schedule. Then the team gets together and chooses a date/time that will work best for everyone. You provide those dates to the coordinator, and then your time is placed on the master calendar.  The calendar is first-come, first-served, but only two classes can occur at the same time.

What happens in the evening training session?

  • General information and notices about Art Literacy
  • A longer presentation about the artist, with specific information about the Elements and Principles highlighted that month
  • The opportunity to discuss the artist and ideas to foster student enthusiasm
  • A chance to run through the project so that you can get a better idea about how to help students.  This can include simplifying the project for younger kids, or setting up materials so that we save time in the classroom.
  • Brainstorming and discussion of how best to present the artist to your classroom(s)

Do I have to attend the training sessions?

You don’t, but it’s preferred that you do. At least one member of your team should be present, just to get information about the artist and get some experience with the project.

What if I miss the training session?

The full artist packets and slideshows are available at The password for the site is volunteer4loartlit. Everything is available to you so that you can still be confident going into the classroom.

What if I miss a classroom session?

That happens. That’s why it’s encouraged to have four (or more) volunteers in each classroom. Two experienced volunteers can handle each presentation unless the materials are tricky, but we want to have redundancy so that if you have a sick child or a work emergency, you can miss a session and it can carry on with the other volunteers.

How do we reschedule a classroom session?

It happens. We can’t know in September about an April assembly and people could get sick. Determine a make-up time with the teacher, then confirm with the coordinator that there’s a cart available for the makeup time.

What do the students get from Art Lit?

Confidence, creativity, enthusiasm, interest, joy. Knowledge about art, artists, and artistic elements and principles. Opinions about the art and artists. Also, a really cool portfolio of their art at the end of the year.