The Big Draw aims to help students gain more appreciation of art - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

The Big Draw aims to help students gain greater appreciation of art

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It's called The Big Draw. Visiting artists and museum educators descend on North Chevy Chase Elementary School in Chevy Chase, Md.

In one classroom, visitor Carole Whelan uses green peppers to teach kids how to do something architects do - make an elevation drawing.

"An elevation is the outside of a house. I tell them - think of an elevator. It goes from top to bottom," says Whelan.

Fourth grade teacher, Jackie Moore, started The Big Draw in 2008 using donated sketch pads and props.

"Oh, my goodness, it's just wonderful. I just love it to see the sparkle in their eyes and how excited they were this morning when the teachers started passing out the materials. 'Yes, a new sketch pad!'" she recalls.

The idea behind it is to make sure that despite all of the standardized tests and rigorous academics, kids still value art.

"If you ask a group of kindergartners, 'How many people here are an artist,' every single child in the class will raise their hand," says Moore. "Each year, as you go up a grade, fewer and fewer kids raise their hand because they lose confidence."

She hopes The Big Draw will change that. It seems to be working for fourth grader Caroline Bittman.

"I've had a lot of fun because my friends are saying my drawings are really good," she says.

It's a reminder that there's an artist in all of us.

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