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Gracias San Antonio: Children Are Citizens

group of young children look and point at artwork made of blocks

Pre-K 4 SA has partnered with local artists to help our youngest citizens create quality art pieces representative of our city. 

 

At Pre-K 4 SA, 3- and 4-year-olds learn how to become civic-minded individuals through an innovative curriculum-driven program called Gracias San Antonio: Children Are Citizens. Gracias San Antonio is grounded in the belief that children are not just future citizens, but also are citizens of the city in the here and now, with the right to express their opinions and participate in the civic and cultural life of San Antonio.  

Gracias San Antonio is a six-month project where children have the opportunity to vote for a nonprofit, explore the best of San Antonio’s landmarks, and bring their inspirations to life through art right in their classrooms. 

Local artists volunteer time to visit a Pre-K 4 SA classroom to discuss what students observed and how they felt while exploring the city. Artists then develop a concept that reflect the children’s perspectives on their community and collaborate on creating an art piece. Upon completion, the artwork is displayed in a museum style setting, and the community is invited to view and bid on artwork to take home. Proceeds from the art exhibit are donated to the charity selected at the beginning of the school year. 

 

Timeline

November – Voting 

On election day, Pre-K 4 SA’s Parent Cafés are transformed into mock-up voting polls. American flags and red, white, and blue streamers adorn the voting polls, and children one-by-one cast their vote as they choose their nonprofit. 

2022 Candidates: Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas (winner), Soldiers Angels, Texas Diaper Bank 

children and teacher explore rocks outside to make artwork

December – City Explorations 

Teachers invite their classroom and their families to engage in City Explorations around San Antonio to help children learn about their city. San Antonio becomes the classroom and the children are the explorers as they visit local parks, historic city sites, art exhibits, monuments, and local establishments. These explorations allow children to gain ideas and inspiration for their art collaborations with their classroom artists. 

a seated teacher instructs a child student how to draw a circle as the child looks on with awe

January and February – The art creation process begins.  

Pre-K 4 SA strongly believes that by engaging students in art experiences at a young age, children deeply develop their thinking, creativity, and learn to express themselves. Therefore, local artists join children in the classroom to create authentic art pieces using a variety of artistic mediums to express the children’s perspective of their city and the places they explored.  

More than 100 art pieces are then displayed in a public gallery exhibit in April and auctioned to raise money for the selected nonprofit organization. 

adults gather around a museum style exhibition of student artwork

April – Exhibit and Auction  

Art enthusiasts and all citizens of San Antonio are invited to view art pieces at a local gallery. The community can bid on and secure their favorite piece of art through an online auction. 

Winning bidders will be notified and have the option to pay online or by phone and have the artwork shipped or arrange pick up at  a Pre-K 4 SA Education Center between in May.  

Are you an artist interested in partnering with us? Email: pre-k4sa@sanantonio.gov 

 

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