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Historical Society teaches students about Rooster Day through art project

Over the course of three weeks in March, 168 second-graders from Westside Elementary School received an art lesson from Kirk Brooker, operations director for the Marengo County Historical Society, and the Demopolis Public Library.

Brooker taught nine classes lasting an hour and a half each. Each art lesson was centered around the original Rooster Day in 1919 and the upcoming festival commemorating it.

Rooster Day art made by students in Dee Roark’s second grade class.

“It’s a way for the kids to learn about Demopolis history while also learning about art,” said Morgan Allen, director of the library.

The kids learned about art vocabulary, primary and secondary colors and the difference between a foreground and a background. They also learned about the purpose of the original Rooster Day, famous people involved in it and what an auction is.

Brooker taught more than just art and Demopolis history. He also managed to incorporate geography, math and government into his art lessons.

“He included a lot of stuff into an hour and a half of just an art class while making it fun,” Allen said.

The students painted roosters on cardstock, cut them out and glued them to a canvas on which they painted a background. The art went home with the students, but Brooker is working on a photo display for the windows of Alabama Power Company and a poster collage that will be displayed in the library.

On March 28, children and parents also painted roosters together at the library. The artwork is currently displayed on the second floor of the library.

Allen also took the time during the art lessons to encourage kids to participate in the summer reading programs that the library offers.

The lessons were sponsored by the Friends of the Demopolis Public Library and Two Rivers Art Council.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, April 11 issue of the Demopolis Times.)