Area students will continue to have in-class visits from the experts, thanks to donations from a pair of local foundations.

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation and the Rapid City Public School Foundation joined to help fund the Teaching Artists Program, according to a release from the foundations.

TAP was founded through a gift from Passages of Wind and Water sculptor Masayuki Nagase to bring visual arts education to K-5 classrooms during the years of his work in Rapid City. Each foundation is providing a $7,500 grant to match Nagase’s annual gift.

The grants were presented on Sept. 23 at Main Street Square in conjunction with the Passages of Wind and Water completion celebration.

“These grants are an investment in our youngest students as they engage with and learn from our local artists," said Liz Hamburg, executive director of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, in the release.

The program is facilitated by the Rapid City Arts Council, which pairs the artists with classroom teachers to integrate visual arts lessons into their classroom curriculum. 

“The TAP program brings qualified art professionals into K-5 classrooms to enhance and enrich the school experience for elementary students who do not currently receive formal visual arts instruction. Teaching students to think creatively and express themselves through art develops future citizens who will be creative problem solvers,” executive director of the Rapid City Public School Foundation Kara Flynn said in the release. “Encouraging community support for education is a vital part of our mission, and the TAP program is a shining example of the difference philanthropy can make in the lives of the Rapid City Area Schools students.”

Volunteer of the Month named

Paula Adkins is the October 2017 Volunteer of the Month for the Helpline Center and Black Hills Urgent Care. 

According to a release from the Helpline Center, Adkins was nominated by Naomi Hatfield of the Douglas High School Activities department.

For the past two years, Adkins has organized the Douglas High School Post Prom party, which involves gathering donations, contacting potential sponsors, shopping for student prizes and organizing volunteers. Hatfield said Adkins took over the post-prom party planning in 2016 when a lack of volunteers prompted canceling of the party. 

“When Paula heard this, she took on the lead role with about three weeks to pull it all together,” Hatfield wrote, according to the release. Adkins took the helm again for the 2017 event.

“Paula is a very busy woman with a full-time job and children, yet she made time in her schedule to do something special for hundreds of students,” Hatfield wrote.

Helpline Center and Black Hills Urgent Care presented Adkins with a framed certificate and Helpline Center T-shirt, gifts from Black Hills Urgent Care and a letter of appreciation from Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender. The Helpline Center will also recognize Adkins at the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards banquet on May 15.

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Custer florist plans to 'Petal it Forward'

Wouldn't it brighten your day to get an unexpected bouquet of fresh flowers? 

Most people would likely say yes — which is why Jenny's Floral in Custer is working with the Society of American Florists for the 'Petal It Forward' campaign on Oct. 11.

A release from the business says the florist will be outside the Custer Post Office on Seventh Street and Mount Rushmore Road at 9 a.m. that day to hand out 100 flowers to morning commuters "to help brighten their day." 

Each person will receive two bouquets, one to keep and another to give away. It's part of a nationwide random-acts-of-kindness effort, in response to a Society of American Florists survey that shows the positive emotional benefits of flowers.

According to the survey, 76 percent of Americans said that having flowers in their home or office improves their mood. 

Contact Candy DenOuden at candy.denouden@rapidcityjournal.com

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Digital Editor

Digital content manager for the Rapid City Journal.