Indian Lake Elementary School 4th grader Kenzie Dixon has been making creations with rubber bands since kindergarten. Now, with the help of ILES Art Teacher Terry Nelson, she is expanding art and knowledge of her craft at her school.
(Pictured, ILES 4th grader Kenzie Dixon started the Rubber Band Club at school in hopes of expanding art opportunities for students).
Kenzie explains, "I just like to see how they make stuff in the videos and make it myself. I thought it would be fun to share it with the little kids."
Nelson says some of her art classes were practicing weaving on cardboard looms recently, and Kenzie brought in her rubber band bracelet loom.
Nelson says "I was so impressed with her speed and skill. I was curious if it could be something we could do at school. We thought because of the cost of the looms, it might be done as an after school art club activity."
(Pictured, ILES Art Teacher Terry Nelson leads Rubber Band Club after school).
Nelson says Kenzie was very motivated, and wrote a letter to Principal Molly Hall to ask permission to start the art club.
"I told Mrs. Hall we only get art class one day a week, so I thought it would be a good option to have this club if kids wanted to do more art," Kenzie said.
Now Nelson has approximately 80 boys and girls taking part in the newly formed Rubber Band Club.
(Pictured, ILES students can now gather for Rubber Band Club after school one day a week).
Students from kindergarten through 4th grade can stay late one night a week. The cost is $12 for materials. They use looms and bands to make anything from simple two-color bracelets to much more complicated designs.
Nelson has paired up the more experienced "rubber banners" with younger students to help them. The group uses a combination of online videos and their own ideas.
Nelson continues, "I personally believe this is a great project for kids. Patterns help reinforce reading in younger students.
The hand-eye coordination is tricky at first, but improves over time. Working our finger muscles helps with pencil grip and control when writing. What is also great are the endless possible designs on YouTube. I was awkward at it at first. But now, I am addicted."
Kenzie's mother and older sister, along with other ILES staff members volunteer with the club as well.
Kenzie has created some complex rubber band creations like fishtail bracelets, animals, and flowers. And she is grateful to now have the opportunity to share her talent with others, "The little kids get so excited. It's fun!"
(Pictured, Second grader Lily Michael and third grader Christopher Timms create a rubber band bracelet using an online video at Rubber Band Club).