Trade in Your Art Club for Saturday School!

What do you typically do on a Saturday morning? If you are like me, it usually involves coffee and cuddling and a work-free zone. This past Saturday, however, I was in my classroom at 8:00 prepping for a ceramics workshop.

Trade in Your Art Club for Saturday School!

A little crazy, but so much fun! Here is why you should trade your regular after-school art club for a couple of Saturday workshops…

1.Time: Good for you, good for students!
Like many of you, I have a family waiting to be picked up and fed and put to bed. Sometimes even staying late an extra hour, just once a week, can be tough. Trading one or two Saturday mornings is an easy choice if it means getting home at a decent time each night.
Time is always a factor for us in the classroom, and I felt like an extra 45 minutes after school wasn’t getting things done. Plus, it doesn’t really lend itself to something like clay. With a three-hour block, students can get the real studio experience and dive deeper into a piece of art than previously possible. Win, win!

2. Parent Involvement/Teacher Involvement
Inviting parents to participate in these workshops is a no-brainer. It allows them to bond with their kiddo in a cool way, see what it is like in your classroom on a daily basis, and can help develop an advocate. Plus, you are never waiting 20 minutes for a late ride. Invite teachers and administrators to bring their own kids, really get everybody into that cool studio frame of mind together!

3. It’s outside the box.
Learning doesn’t just happen during the 8-3 school day. More and more, schools are looking into ways to get creative with scheduling and school-day structure. Imagine how much fresher brains are at 8 AM, rather than after a full day of rigorous school work. Show your students, their parents, and your administrator that you can think outside the school-day box and get creative!


What are some traditional “Art Club” alternatives you’ve tried?

How do you connect with students outside of school?

Sarah Dougherty

My name is Sarah Dougherty, and I teach elementary art in a large urban district in central Iowa. I love working with our diverse population of K-5 students to bring art to their homes, communities, and everyday lives.


  • Art on my hands

    I would love to get some answers about art club. How do you finance the supplies? Is their a cost like an after school program? Is it considered part of your job or do you get paid extra?

    • I had these same questions!

    • Great questions, AOMH. In the past PTO has funded our supplies, this year they are grant funded. I also get paid for my extra time, but this is the first year we have been able to do that. Before, I did it on my own time.

  • Kristy

    I am actually really lucky. I teach at an elementary arts magnet, so I have a built in art crew once a week. They are hand picked 5th and 6th graders that applied at the beginning of the year. There is also a theater troupe, dance ensemble and choir that kids can try out for. It is the highlight of my week!

    • I hand-picked my students for the first time this year and it worked out so well! It was hard to chose, but it was an interesting group of kids that I wouldn’t have gotten any other way. An arts magnet? Lucky duck! I want to know more!

  • Dessa

    I have an after school art club for each grade level in my building (3,4 and 5). This past year I accepted every student who applied (170 in total). They each paid a $10 fee for four sessions which lasted an hour and a half. I really like the idea of doing a Saturday School concept instead! Can you share more about how many sessions each child would attend and the cost?

    • Dessa

      120 students not 170! Sorry!

    • Dessa, you are a hero! That is quite the undertaking. I did two Saturday mornings (8:30-11:30) for a total of six contact hours. I work in a school where students and families cannot afford fees, so it was grant funded, but in the past I have been funded by our PTO. Our ceramics workshop cost $100 (not including my pay), and served 12 students and 12 adults.

  • cfrobeyinc

    I alternate my art club every Thursday (1-4 one Thursday and grades 5–8 on the other Thursdays). I am just really tired at the end of the school day and the kids are pretty hyper after being in their classrooms all day long. I LOVE the Saturday concept, and especially bringing in parents, other teachers and staff. I would have never thought of something like this on my own….I love this website and the ideas it gives me….thanks!

    • Cathy, your comments made me smile! That is what we are here to do…inspire! I know what you mean about the end of the day. Let us know how it goes if you try the Saturday route.

  • Nicole Arnold

    Thank you for posting this, and for answering the questions below. I want to propose concept this for my daughter’s middle school.

    • You’re welcome! Be sure to check in and let us know how it goes!

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