Warrnambool West Primary School begins new after-school art program

Creative: Warrnambool West Primary School students Xavier Hales, 8, and Bailey Hales, 6, gets some help with their clay sculptures from local artist Xavier Lane at the new after-school program. Picture: Rob Gunstone
Creative: Warrnambool West Primary School students Xavier Hales, 8, and Bailey Hales, 6, gets some help with their clay sculptures from local artist Xavier Lane at the new after-school program. Picture: Rob Gunstone

A new after-school arts program at Warrnambool West Primary School is giving young students a new creative outlet.

The arts activities program follows the success of a similar after-school basketball program introduced earlier this year.

The new program is run by Warrnambool artist Xavier Lane and has 20 students enrolled from prep to grade two.

It has been introduced in partnership with South West Local Learning and Employment Network (SWLLEN) which sourced resources for the program.

SWLLEN project office Del Hammond said it would open opportunities for the school’s younger students.

“The idea is to make the program fun and free flowing and allow the children to express themselves through art,” Ms Hammond said.

“It was good to introduce an after-school program for students who are not sports-minded and to target the younger age group.”

The program would strengthen students’ skills and self-esteem and give them a positive after-school experience, she added.

Each session begins with fresh fruit, followed by a short mindfulness meditation activity, which is proven to enhance creativity.

“Art is a means of enhancing self-expression, improving emotional health, and improving interpersonal functioning.”

It also helps to strengthen students’ skills and self-esteem and give them a positive after-school experience.

Warrnambool West Primary School integration aide Megan Crameri said the program was a hit with students.

“It’s a great opportunity to explore their creativity in a different medium,” Ms Crameri said.

“They love it and I think it’s improving their social skills as well as their creative capacity.”

SWLLEN acting executive officer Helen Bayne said they worked with  schools in the region to identify and implement initiatives designed to support the health, wellbeing, inclusion and engagement of all students.

“Warrnambool West Primary School identified the need for a high quality after-school program, and our role has been to make that happen,” Mrs Bayne said.

The after-school basketball program is continuing at the school.

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