Reception held in fourth-graders' honor

Posted: Friday, April 07, 2006

A reception was held on March 14 at the Mendenhall branch of True North Federal Credit Union to recognize the artistic achievements of Mela O'Brien's fourth-grade Glacier Valley Elementary School class.

As part of the Art is Elementary program, the students had created Yupik-style masks under the direction of art instructor Jeremy Neldon. The students - Corina Giamakidis, Ashley Chilton, Tylyn DenAdel, Alexander Soboleff, Matthew Seymour, David Caldwell, Estie Dawson, Devon West, Taytum Robinson, Kymberlee Kelly, Sophia Gore and BJ Sautao - also performed a Yupik dance for the attendees.

The Art is Elementary program seeks to match local sponsors with a classroom at Glacier Valley to fund art instruction on a consistent basis throughout the school year. Studies show that arts programs help in increasing student attendance, student participation and enthusiasm, and parent involvement, among other benefits.

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As a sponsor, True North hosted the reception to display the masks in a public venue. The students were able to exhibit their artwork for their parents and the general public. The masks were on display for the week. Future exhibits of student artwork are planned, and other Art is Elementary sponsors are invited to request exhibit space for their sponsored students.

Photos from the reception can be viewed online at

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