Honoring Creativity: Volunteering in the Classroom
Lower School Art Teacher Li-Ting Hung and parent volunteer Mili Welt have a special synergy. They collaborate together on the Lower School art displays, which brighten the walls of the Lower School year-round. The first year they were both at The Bush School, Mili thought, “I want to do work on the displays,” but, she says, “I didn’t want to impose. I wanted to show Li-Ting’s amazing work, and how much the students are learning in art.”
Mili continues, “The school has so much space, and I was so impressed by the work that my child Sami brought home, that I thought, how can other parents see more art on the walls when they come to pick up their children? Art was so important to me when I went to school, and showing it in the hallways was a big part of that. ”
Mili approached Li-Ting after coming to the Fine Arts Evening and feeling really connected to one of the projects. “It was a ceramics one, in the center of the room; she put sand around it,” Mili remembers. Li-Ting adds, “We made a connection through art. I made that display, and it echoed with her vision, and we talked and then started working together. It was organic. I feel so lucky that Mili loves art and is so good at what she’s doing. She loves what she’s doing and it makes me grateful. I would never be able to do these displays on my own.”
Li-Ting’s approach to primary school art education includes treating all students as artists. Though parents may only see the final product, there are sketches and a full artistic process before work is displayed. “It honors their creativity,” Li-Ting explains. “It’s important that everything be displayed properly to honor their work.”
If she were giving advice to those looking to volunteer, Mili—who has volunteered in the classroom, library, and admissions—would say, “There are many opportunities, even if you just have ten minutes, or just want to go on a field trip. Choose something that you are going to enjoy. Do it out of love.”
Li-Ting has fifteen years of experience as an art teacher in independent schools and local museums and galleries. As an artist herself, she has shown in galleries in Seattle, Everett, Chicago, and Cincinnati.
Mili is primarily a self-taught crafter and artisan. With interests ranging from illustration to jewelry, iconography to embroidery, and above all papercraft, she uses her hands to reveal her passions. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators of Western Washington.