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The power of the pencil—cartooning workshop held in Tea

A pencil and piece of paper were used for more than a classroom assignment last week by students at Tea Area Legacy Elementary. Students in Grades 3 and 4 enjoyed a morning Cartooning Assembly on Tuesday, May 9 led by Jason Folkerts. Folkerts taught them about shape maps and how the use of such maps is helpful in creating cartoon figures, as well as other interesting details in learning how to draw cartoons.

Along with this morning assembly, students and families in JK-4 attended an Open House Superhero Drawing Assembly that evening at Legacy. Following the informative and enjoyable assembly, six lucky winners had their names drawn to receive one of Folkerts’ incredible sketches!

Folkerts will be returning to Legacy Elementary, as well as visiting Frontier Elementary, this week. He will be doing individual caricatures of each ‘graduating’ student in Grade 4 prior to their move to the Middle School next year.

Funding for these artistic happenings was provided by a gracious donation from TAPTO, in addition to funds generated from the Magazine Fundraising sales that took place earlier in the year.

Since his high school days Folkerts has been an accomplished artist in the field of Cartooning, Comics and Book Illustration. There is very little he hasn’t tackled in the art world over the past thirty years; besides the above he has done Caricatures, LIVE Art, Editorial Cartoons, Scenic Design, Magazine Illustration, Chalk Art on Sidewalks, Gallery Work and Art Advertising. Folkerts is also a creative and experienced teacher that students and educators connect to. He taught at the University of Sioux Falls for seven years and alongside his art work, was a successful youth pastor for two decades, even today he continues to serve and volunteer in ministry endeavors across the midwest. Folkerts has won awards and recognition as an editorial cartoonist, children’s book illustrator and community leader. He received the highest Alumni Award from the University he graduated from for receiving leadership success at such an early age. Folkerts also is generous with his time and talents utilizing artwork for non-profit fundraisers through LIVE art and art donations garnering thousands of dollars each year.

Folkerts, along with his wife, have three children and a dog named Oreo. His family roots go back to the Chancellor area. His grandparents lived in the community, and he spent many summers there as a child.

Folkerts has completed over 140 murals and dozens of art workshops for schools. Those schools were given a specialized experience in cartooning, comics and creativity. According to Folkerts, not only do the students benefit, but teachers and parents do as well. An entire community is impacted when students are unleashed to engage their imagination. It is his personal goal to reach out to as many students, parents and educators who are concerned and desiring a stronger art emphasis and creativity to enhance the educational path and enhance the quality of life in their community.

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