Ryan McInnis is the first community development Greenheart Grant recipient for Greenheart Travel! Ryan was an English Teacher in Georgia and developed a close relationship with the art teachers at the school he taught at. His grant application showed that this project was a collaborative community effort as teachers at the art school were also personally volunteering time and talent to open their school. Ryan and the art teachers at Lanchkhuti School in Georgia were awarded $500 to help purchase materials necessary to operate educational art programs. Below Ryan reflects on the project.
In the country of Georgia is a small town of about 8,000 in the Guria region, near the Black Sea. There are three schools there including an art school. The Lanchkhuti Art School is a small art school that offers art programs for the local children free of charge. The old building that housed the school was falling apart and was recently torn down. Despite having almost no funding, the school and the local community were able come together and keep the art school going.
It has recently moved into a newly remodeled building provided by the city. The new building has allowed the art school to expand its curriculum and its number of students. What the school was still lacking though was basic art supplies. That’s where the Greenheart Grant comes in. With the money from the grant, school faculty were able to provide students with basic art supplies that were either scarce or completely absent until now. Painting supplies such as paint, brushes, and canvas were purchased. Drawing supplies such as paper and pencils were bought as well. One of the specialties of this school and of Georgian art are embroidery, so money was set aside for that as well. Various other things like plaster and wood tools were bought for different projects. Fortunately, supplies are cheap in Georgia, so the grant money was able to go a long way. The teachers and students at this school are talented and resourceful and will no doubt make great use of these supplies.
Now that the teacher’s busy summer has ended and they have finished moving to the new building, they have begun classes. The students recently went to the country’s capital, Tbilisi, and participated in an art project. One student was awarded a laptop for their efforts in this project. Enrollment is up from last year, and just as before, the school continues to be free of charge. The current project underway right now is to introduce ceramics into the curriculum. Hopefully these steps will ensure the students in Lanchkhuti will have the chance to keep learning art and continue at whatever university they choose.