Sioux Center Christian expands its art program | Sioux Center News

SIOUX CENTER—Students at Sioux Center Christian School, kindergarten through fourth grade, have new artistic opportunities thanks to the arrival of a new art teacher, Leroy Berentschot.

Berentschot, 60, brings with him many years of teaching experience, for basic classroom and art instruction. His 30 years of education have taken him to classrooms at Rock Valley Christian School, Orange City Christian School and Unity Christian High School, Sioux Center School District, Panorama Elementary School in Panora and St. Margaret Mary Elementary School in Omaha , NOT.

Now Berentschot teaches at Sioux Center Christian School in a classroom that has been converted for the arts.

The room will, however, be redesigned in the future to become a proper art classroom, according to school principal Josh Bowar.

One of the joys Berenschot finds in teaching art to these young classes is their enthusiasm for it.

“They love art and are naturally creative. As soon as they are done with a project, they all want to draw for free. They want to get out the markers and crayons and crayons and do their own thing,” he said.

Berenschot also emphasizes to his students that art comes in many forms and not everyone has to like the same type of art.

“This project or this medium that we use may not be your cup of tea, but that’s okay,” Berentschot said. “Not everyone has to like the same type of art. It was one of my first lessons.

Its addition to the Christian School is the latest evolution of the school’s art program. Until art teacher Lori De Jong joined Sioux Center Christian School four years ago, art instruction was provided by a staff member who was shared with Orange City Christian School. .

On Monday, Sioux Center Christian School art teacher Leroy Berentschot explores the concept of concentric circles for an abstract art project with second graders.

When De Jong was hired, students in grades five through eight could receive specialized art instruction, and for younger students, art was incorporated into the curriculum of these teachers.

But soon after, the school management began to consider adding another art instructor to cover these younger classes.

“We thought about how we have music teachers transitioning from kindergarten to grade eight, physical education, library, band, orchestra. But the art had that kind of gap,” Bowar said.

Ensuring students have access to quality arts education is an important part of Christian education, he added.

“Here we share the idea that we worship a God who is a creator, and he also created us to be creative,” Bowar said. “How we use these gifts and talents is important, so it adds to teaching the whole child at Sioux Center Christian and how we see our children as whole people.”

Having a specialized art education available in these early years better prepares them for teaching art at the college level, De Jong added, giving them more knowledge about visual art techniques, famous artists and culture. ability to discuss art using the correct vocabulary.

To do this, Berentschot asks his students to work on art projects related to at least one of the seven elements of art: line, form, shape, space, texture, value and color.

“My deep hope in the art room,” Berentschot said, “is that with these seven elements of art, we can create art that honors God, others, and ourselves.”

Kayleen C. Rice