People Like You

Seán P. Feeny

People Like You: Popular teacher wants kids to be creative

Sarah King.

Sarah King.

A TALENTED young woman is starting up a new business venture in Letterkenny specialising in after school programme and specialist weekend workshops.

The new Kidz-b-Artistz Art School is the brainchild of Sarah King, a well-known national school teacher, artist and published children’s book author.

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The new art school will offer a service designed to be creative, innovative and most importantly, Sarah said, fun.
“I believe an early introduction to art opens a world of creativity and opportunity for children. They will learn valuable art skills through my classes – they will be exposed to drawing, painting, vast variety of construction and materials, fabrics and artist appreciation.

“Furthermore, they will build the confidence to create, design and innovate through many different media. I will provide an art education for the children, they will learn about the various forms of media, technique and about famous artists and art icons in our world.”

Sarah allows each child to be ‘the creator’. There are no colouring-in templates or doing the work for the children in her classes.
“I am more or less there to direct, guide and nurture their creativity and skills. Although I share my creativity with the children I teach in the classroom, Kidz-b-Artistz will offer another way of reaching out to the other children who may share a love for art and crafts.

“I feel art is sometimes overlooked, there is always somewhere for children to learn/play sport, music, drama, academics etc, but there is rarely an outlet for those children that are not sporty or musical and may have creative talents that won’t be recognised.

“I feel every child deserves to have confidence within them and feel a sense of worth in our world and every child deserves to have the opportunity to use their talent.

“If I can help even in the slightest way to motivate children to learn and use their skills then I feel I’m not wasting my time,” she said.

Sarah with young fans at the launch of her book, The Girl Who Wouldn't Smile.

Sarah with young fans at the launch of her book, The Girl Who Wouldn’t Smile.

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As well as being a very popular school teacher, Sarah is also a celebrated children’s book author, having already published two books, The Boy Who Lost His Best Friend and The Girl Who Wouldn’t Smile.

She said: “This is more or less a hobby I really enjoy. I love creating stories and illustrations – but it’s the moments in which I read my books to groups of children that I find especially satisfying. Children need books to develop basic language skills, to develop critical thinking skills, to develop their imaginations, books create and answer questions, but most of all books inspire us to dream and give us the tools to achieve our dreams.”

Sarah’s books are inspired from classroom experiences and each book conveys an underlying message for children, helping them to identify with and understand some of these problems they may face as they grow up. “I am working on a third book which will deal with sibling rivalry/jealousy when a new baby comes into the family. So I’m looking forward to sharing that story with all the children.”

Sarah has just completed four ‘wonderful’ years teaching in schools in the Creeslough area and is now looking forward to starting a new position at St Mary’s National School in her native Ramelton after the mid-term holidays.

She said: “I have always had a creative style with my teaching and my classrooms would be a described as a hive of activity.
“I try to steer away from the text books and get the children engaged in active learning, it’s the way forward and I’m happy to say it’s the way primary education is heading in our country, especially with the new Aistear programme that has been introduced to the Irish classrooms, which involves an exciting early learning programme through play which enables children to grow and develop as competent and confident learners.”

You may wonder where does this talented Letterkenny-based woman find the time to do all of these things. The answer to this is very simple, according to Sarah.

“People often ask where do I find the time to do all the things I do and I have a simple answer for them.

“If you are passionate about something you will always make time for that passion. I have the same amount of hours in my day as Beyonce, and can you imagine her schedule,” she laughed.

“I am a very organised person – anyone who knows me will know about my never-ending daily lists! I make a list of things to be done every day and I get those done. I take each day at a time. Teaching is my passion, and that is what I will make time for. I don’t even see my job as work as I enjoy it that much. Everything I do gets 100 per cent commitment and dedication.”

Sarah's new place on Oliver Plunkett Road, Letterkenny.

Sarah’s new place on Oliver Plunkett Road, Letterkenny.

Sarah knows that starting up your own business is a huge risk, but it is one she is willing to take. “I know opening a business is a huge risk, especially in the way our country is running economically at the moment, but if I don’t try I won’t know. It is something I have always wanted to do and after a hugely successful trial of art classes and summer camp in Dunfanaghy in the past few months, I thought I would give it a go in Letterkenny.”

Sarah King’s Kidz-b-Artistz will kick off with a Halloween Art Camp beginning on Monday, October 27 and running until Friday, October 31. The first term of art lessons will commence on Monday, November 10.

All details are on facebook.com/kidzbartistz or you can contact Sarah directly for further details on 085-1943028. You can also keep up to date with Sarah King facebook.com/sarahkingartist

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