• Pathway Express Wexner

    Pathway Express - Bringing Literacy and the Arts to Life at The Wexner Center for the Arts


    December 12, 2023 - In a remarkable turnout, students from Columbus City Schools (CCS) attended the Pathway Express at the Wexner Center for the Arts. This latest installment provided a dynamic learning environment for students to elevate their reading literacy and deepen their appreciation for the arts.


    “Parents are engaged with their child at events like Pathway Express, learning throughout this experience," said Sarah Pubal, CCS Extended Learning Specialist. "Pathway Express helps to show parents that, when they are out with their child, there are learning opportunities anywhere they go."


    The event was hosted in collaboration with Zoom: Family Film and Book Festival by the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University. On this stop, students could connect with five free interactive learning sessions. 


    One of the engaging experiences provided for families was the "Studio with Pint Size Protesters, Tala Kanani, and Friends." The art station encouraged students and their families to use collage-style art to make signs with encouraging comments, practice being an activist, and everything in between. 


    "We get to introduce art, artists, and authors,” said Dionne Custer Edwards, Head of Learning and Public Practice at the Wexner Center for the Arts. “We get to do that for children and families in Central Ohio. How often do young children get introduced to a working artist? Someone who makes books, the kinds of books they are reading or those they have already read."


    Innosanto Nagara is an acclaimed graphic artist and activist, publishing many children's books surrounding themes of empowerment, including "A is for Activist," "M is for Movement," and "Oh, The Things We're For!" to name a few. 


    Students and families had a chance to meet Nagara and listen to him read from his book "My Night at the Planetarium." They then had the opportunity to participate in a kid-friendly Q&A with the author and hear stories about his challenges and successes as an author. 


    Throughout the day, students could engage with educators, explore art exhibits, and learn about different cultures. For CCS students, this was a moment to make memories while learning about careers and opportunities in the arts and humanities.


    "What a fantastic opportunity for the Wexner Center for the Arts, our work in learning and public practice, and this partnership with Columbus City Schools," Edwards said. "To create a space that incorporates learning, incorporates joy, and in a space that is accessible, it's a huge partnership."


    With this partnership and ones like it, CCS strives to foster success for all students. Through events like Pathway Express, students can engage and learn passionately about topics they may only sometimes interact with outside the classroom. 


    “It is important to create these memories,” said Brittney Carmona, Family Ambassador. “There's always something to take home. Each student will have something tangible to come home and say, 'Hey, I remember when we went here and made this together.' Those moments are important to our students."


    Through events like Pathway Express, CCS hopes to raise awareness of every pathway students can take in life and help guide them to fulfilling their dreams.