Victoria, a fourth grader from Lakeland Elementary, titled her artwork “Colorful” and wrote “The world needs color.” Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Victoria, a fourth grader from Lakeland Elementary, titled her artwork “Colorful” and wrote “The world needs color.” Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Scholar Art in the City bridges creativity and community

FWPS district initiative debuts scholar works around Federal Way.

“The world needs color,” Victoria wrote among the pinks, blues, and greens of her drawing one day during class. Now the fourth grader from Lakeland Elementary proudly smiles at her art displayed in The Chopped Leaf in Federal Way.

The Federal Way Public Schools district partnered with local businesses and organizations to launch the Scholar Art in the City initiative, which displays the artistic talents of scholars at 36 establishments in Federal Way.

Featured scholar works includes paintings, drawings, pictures, short writing examples and more from each elementary, middle and high school in the district. The artworks rotate on a quarterly basis.

“It makes me happy,” Victoria said about seeing her art on display with nine other art pieces from Lakeland Elementary students.

“Art is fun and you can do art with as many people as you want,” she said. “It could be one person or a lot.”

The initiative showcases the work completed by scholars and highlights the importance of the arts in the classroom.

The initiative is also another way to see into the minds and hearts of young people, said Dr. Tammy Campbell, FWPS superintendent.

“These memorable experiences deepen scholars’ understanding around some of the big ideas and concepts they are being taught in school every day. We know that schools can’t do it alone, and I’m excited to launch this arts initiative with our community partners,” Campbell said.

The arts tell a story of Federal Way children that is different than what assessments and standardized testing tells, and while those tests are incredibly important, it’s also important for students to be able to express themselves, Campbell said.

“The vision behind it was ensuring that we had a way to show our community the gifts, the creativity, how our scholars express themselves through art,” Campbell said.

“Reading hers saying ‘The world needs color,’ I think our children have a brilliant mind around what the world can do to get better. And this is another way for us to see that brilliance on display in our businesses,” Campbell said, noting her excitement of engaging education with the community.

The Chopped Leaf was the first business Campbell had approached with the idea of the initiative and owners Nanci and Kevin Dueck eagerly agreed.

“I think it was definitely a no-brainer for us,” she said about the decision to welcome scholar art into their business. “We love the arts, we love education, and we love kids.”

The Duecks have five children who all attended Lakeland Elementary. The couple opened The Chopped Leaf in May.

“Anything that’s trying to improve education for our kids in this area, I think is fantastic,” Nanci said. “I love the idea, too, that education in our city is everyone’s concern.”

Education is a city-wide effort, she said, which starts with helping scholars see how they impact the world.

“I think it builds confidence and shows [students] they can do things beyond what they thought they could do,” she said. “I think it helps them see what they could be in the future and know that there’s possibilities out there.”

Scholar Art in the City can be found at B&R Espresso, Red Robin, Federal Way 320th Library, Macy’s, the city of Federal Way Mayor’s Office and many more.

For a complete list of participating businesses and organizations or for more information, visit fwps.org/scholarartincity.

Dr. Tammy Campbell, right, stands with The Chopped Leaf owners, Kevin and Nanci Dueck, a Lakeland Elementary scholar and her mother at the Scholar Art in the City event. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Dr. Tammy Campbell, right, stands with The Chopped Leaf owners, Kevin and Nanci Dueck, a Lakeland Elementary scholar and her mother at the Scholar Art in the City event. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Dr. Tammy Campbell and Victoria pose with artwork from Lakeland Elementary. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Dr. Tammy Campbell and Victoria pose with artwork from Lakeland Elementary. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

More in News

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.

Federal Way Chamber endorses Woodbridge Corporate Park as economic engine

Chamber states development on former Weyerhaeuser property will create 3,100 jobs.

Federal Way converts $3M federal PAEC loan to permanent

The council voted 6-1 to turn the loan permanent which will fix the interest rate through the life of the loan.

After being homeless, Christy X (pictured) moved into her Coniston Arms Apartments unit in Seattle at the beginning of 2019. She had bounced around from shelters to friends’ places after facing an eviction at her West Seattle apartment in October 2018. A diversion program run by the nonprofit Mary’s Place helped her find housing. File photo
State lawmakers consider eviction reform legislation

Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, is bill’s prime sponsor.

Federal Way to host ground-breaking ceremony for $3M staircase project

Project will improve the walkability of downtown Federal Way while connecting the PAEC to Town Square Park and the Transit Center.

United Methodist vote has churches’ future in question

Congregations debate separation following gay-clergy, same-sex marriage ban.

Federal Way Public Schools extends application deadline for board director vacancy

Applications will now be accepted through Friday, March 29.

Gov. Jay Inlsee signs into law the Native American Voting Rights Act, which allows a non-traditional address to be used for voter registration for residents who live on reservations. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Native American Voting Rights Act signed into law

Non-traditional addresses can be used for voter registration on tribal lands

Suspect injured in officer-involved shooting in Federal Way

27-year-old male suspect opens fire at police; transported to hospital in unknown condition.

Most Read