The English school outreach program Looking at Pictures and its French counterpart Vive les Arts! are delivered by volunteers of the National Gallery of Canada to elementary schools in the Ottawa/Gatineau areas of Ontario and Quebec. Volunteers show art reproductions to children in grade 1 to 6 classes and stimulate the children to discuss what they see. The program awakens an interest in art, provides children with looking skills, helps them articulate their observations, and develops confident, enthusiastic responses to art.
The volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and share a lifelong interest in children and art. From a large library of mounted reproductions, each volunteer selects a set of pictures and prepares a presentation and questions for a session of 30-60 minutes, appropriate to the age of the audience. Classroom discussions centre on description, analysis, and interpretation, as well as the personal reactions of the students. Volunteers arrange classroom visits to suit the schedules of each school.
To arrange a classroom visit, call the Volunteer Coordinator at 613-990-0130 or download and print out a request form (PDF). There is no charge for this service.