This year the College Board is seeking to combine school and the community that surrounds it. In the AP Studio Art: 2D Design classes they are doing this by having students incorporate their community service work into their art focus in a program they call AP with WE.
“I love this,” AP art teacher Gillian Bailey said. “It really allows students to connect their art to more than just their own life but the lives of others around them and the people in their community.”
Around 100 schools in California are participating in this pilot program that can be applied to six different AP classes: Computer Science, Environmental Science, European History, Spanish Language and Culture, Human Geography and Studio Art: 2-D Design. Here at PHS the AP Art program is the only one participating.
“The great thing is that because this is a pilot we can customize it to our school and students and what they like and what they don’t like about the program,” Bailey said.
The differences between this program and the original AP Art curriculum are small. Much like AP Art every student must complete 12 pieces that revolve around their focus by the end of May, but in AP with WE the focus is community service based.
Senior Olivia Creighton has been volunteering at Elizabeth House in Oakland since she was in elementary school.
“Elizabeth house is transitional living for women and their children,” Creighton said. “They can live there up to 12 or 14 months.”
Creighton decided to raise awareness of the work that Elizabeth House is doing by making it her AP Art focus this year. Creighton is doing portraits of some of the children living there and then shrinking the portraits down and putting them into lockets for the kids’ mothers.
“I’m really glad that we are doing something like this year because it is a great way to end my time at PHS,” Creighton said.