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Spring 2023 Featured Student Artists: Ben P. and Marie K.

Creating Art for Relaxation and Reflection

Ben P. holding a calendar

Ben P. is one of two students from SCOE teacher Lisa Saenz’s eighth-grade class whose artwork is featured in the 2023 calendar. His drawing of a spring landscape is featured for April.

The artwork of two SCOE students is being featured this spring in the 2023 Student Art Calendar published by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Communications Office. 

In the calendar, which SCOE offers for sale each year, the month of March features digital artwork from Marie K. “Traditional art is easier for some people compared to digital,” Marie acknowledged, but she prefers to create whimsical scenes with a stylus and her iPad, using software like Ibis Paint.

The month of April features Ben P.’s colored pencil drawing of a blustery spring landscape. Ben prefers to work with pencils because they’re less messy than paints and other media. “Art is something I do when I’m bored,” he explained. The complimentary colors he chose for his drawing made such an impression on the calendar design team that it was also selected for the cover.

Both artists are students in teacher Lisa Saenz’s eighth-grade English language arts and social studies classroom at Mitchell Middle School (Folsom Cordova USD). The class is part of SCOE’s CARE Intervention Program. Saenz makes sure that plenty of art supplies are available in the classroom for students to use in their free time—markers, colored pencils, and coloring pages—because she finds that creating art helps students relax and express their thoughts and feelings. Her classroom walls are rich with student artwork, which helps her get to know their unique stories and motivate them, both in class and beyond.

The two featured artists have high aspirations. Ben hopes to work as a structural engineer designing bridges. Marie wants to pursue a career in construction, either as an architect or a builder.

About the CARE Intervention Program

The CARE (Community Action for Responsive Education) Intervention Program is a Community Schools program serving students in grades 7–12 in Sacramento County. A partnership between SCOE and local school districts, the program aims to reduce the high school dropout rate and the number of students referred to juvenile probation. The classes provide small, self-contained settings with heightened individual student attention. CARE teachers are employed by SCOE. They use the school district’s adopted curriculum and follow the course of study outlined by the district. The district provides textbooks and supplemental materials for the students in the program.