Telstar Middle School students will present the 10th annual ArtReach event on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Telstar Auditorium and Cafeteria. This event will feature a student art exhibit and sale, as well as a program of special student performances. All of the visual and performing artworks presented at this year’s ArtReach event are designed to showcase students’ “Sparks.” “Sparks” is a metaphor used to describe the passions and interests of youth that light up their lives and express the core of who they are and what they bring to the world.

At the start of the school year, students in the TMS 7th/8th grade Advanced Art class chose to support the new Telstar Freshmen Academy (TFA) program with this year’s ArtReach service-learning project. The TFA is a unique and innovative collaboration between MSAD 44 and the UMaine 4H Bryant Pond Learning Center designed to increase student engagement and academic success through experiential integrated learning. Students have been learning about the new TFA program and identifying ways they can support it. Students have shared some of their observations, reflections and research on a website they designed for the project: One goal that has emerged for the project is to increase “sparks-focused” learning opportunities at the TFA in collaboration with local nonprofits. From this goal, came the title of the project: “Show Your Sparks.”

Students have been working to produce a short film to educate the public about the TFA program and they have been creating artworks designed to showcase their own Sparks. These efforts and more will be showcased at the ArtReach event. The student art exhibit and sale will open at 5 p.m., and the program of special student performances will begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. For more information about this event, contact Melissa Prescott, TMS Visual Art Teacher at

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