Business and School Spotlight: Easy as P.I.E.

  • Benton PIE
    Partnership:  Benton STEM Elementary School and Access Arts

    Kick off date:  2000

    Meet Mrs. Akiode, Benton STEM Art teacher and Lisa Franko, Assistant Director of Access Arts. 

    "Under this role, I coordinate youth programs and outreach, teaching many youth classes and camps with Benton STEM Elementary students.  As the coordinator for our youth programs, I worked with Mrs. Akiode (Shalonda) to create a project that would be new and exciting for Benton students. I visited Benton 4th and 5th-grade classes for two weeks, during which students had the opportunity to design and print their own pencil pouches and t-shirts via silkscreen printing.  It is so wonderful for Access Arts to be able to connect with students and families right in our own neighborhood!   Our partnership with Benton is an excellent way for Access Arts to connect with students and families we may not otherwise meet. Working with Benton students allows us to share our mission of providing creative experiences for everyone regardless of barriers.  We hope to strengthen our connection with Benton in the coming years by providing low-cost or free programming to students. We are considering a walking school bus that would lead students to our facility where they would engage with various art enrichment after school. Access Arts has been a PIE with Benton for many years. For many of those years, we introduced students to clay. Now that each CPS school has its own kiln, we wanted to think of another medium to introduce students to that they may not have experienced before. Therefore, this year we decided silkscreen would be a wonderful option! “ Lisa Franko