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Contributed by Kobi Shaw —

Arts Integration Menomonie (A.I.M.), a University of Wisconsin–Stout based grant, is offering unique art teaching opportunities for both Art Education and Early Childhood Education majors. With a goal of offering authentic arts-based teaching practicums, A.I.M. has two different programs open to pre-service teachers.

The Co-Teaching In and Through the Arts (C.I.T.A.) allows pre-service teachers to be placed in classroom settings which include both traditional teachers as well as resident Teaching Artists. Teaching Artists co-teach the curriculum with the traditional teachers and pre-service teachers, infusing the lessons with a designated art form. For the 2015-2016 school year, these art forms include creative writing/storytelling, guitar/song writing, theater arts, music composition, circus arts, percussion and screenwriting/playwriting.

During second quarter, four Stout Early Childhood Education pre-service teachers are participating in the C.I.T.A. program. They are: Brea Boomer, a Circus Arts teacher at Wakanda Elementary, Jessica Behnke, a River Heights Elementary Music and Composition teacher and third grade Theater Arts teachers at Oaklawn Elementary Danielle Fuerstenber and Katelynne Folkers.

A.I.M.’s Program for Arts Integration for New Teachers (P.A.I.N.T.) pairs Stout Art Education majors (and potentially Early Childhood Education majors as well) with local community organizations. These Stout students will work through local organizations teaching arts-based classes to obtain authentic teaching practicums.

Classes currently being led by P.A.I.N.T. student teachers include drawing, arts and crafts, duct tape art, movement (including hip hop and yoga), color guard, cartooning and more. Opportunities for academic tutoring and mural painting are available as well.

P.A.I.N.T. internships for Fall, 2015 have been awarded to:


Boys & Girls Clubs of Menomonie (Center Supervisor, Ashley DeMuth)

Lauren Cook, Anna Koehne, Sarah Bennett, Becca Handy, Nicole Burt, Sami LaClair, Jennah Kaiser


Rocky’s K-2 Program at River Heights (Center Supervisor, Bonnie Scheel)

Nicole Burt, Abby Naumann


Jumpstart After School Program and Thursday’s Thrill Seekers Program, at Menomonie Parks and Recreation Dept (Center Supervisor, Julie Stratton)

Natasha Morris, Olivia Revolinski, Sierra Thomfohrda


Arc of Dunn County at Cedarbrook Church (Center Supervisor, Tina Joiner)

Sierra Thomfohrda

All CI.T.A. and P.A.I.N.T. student teacher positions are paid internships and require an application process.  P.A.I.N.T. participants must complete 40 hours of planning/teaching within a semester, after which they receive a $500 stipend.  Depending on the partnering organizations’ needs and student teachers skills, A.I.M. is open to new arts based class suggestions beyond current offerings as well.


Dr. Tami Weiss, A.I.M.’s executive director and UW–Stout program director of Art Education states, “Essentially, we are paying our education students to become better teachers. Rather than working at fast-food restaurants and jobs that have no relation to what they’ll be doing in their future, students who participate in the P.A.I.N.T. program gain real-life teaching experiences while being paid a decent wage.  Why wait until a college student’s last semester of college for a crash-course student teaching experience? Let’s empower students early to become more competent and more confident teachers by the time they start their career.”

For more information go to www.artsintegrationmenomonie.org, or contact Dr. Tami Weiss at weissta@uwstout.edu

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