The Telstar Middle School Visual Art Blog

Welcome! March 8, 2020

Filed under: TMS ART BLOG HOME — rebel2006 @ 6:00 am


This site contains information about activities and assignments from the Visual Art Classes at Telstar Middle School. Click on “General Art” in the menu at top of this page to get information about specific classes. Current class offerings during the regular school day include 6th, 7th, and 8th grade General Art  (required for all students for one trimester of the school year).

To return to this page at any time, click on “TMS ART BLOG HOME” located in the green “categories” box on the right side of the page. If you have any questions or comments, you can submit them directly through this blog. Just click on the word “comments” below this post and leave a message. You can also send an e-mail directly to: and I will get back to you as soon as possible. -Melissa Prescott – Telstar Middle School Visual Art Teacher



ArtReach 2019-20:  

Supporting Recovery from

Homelessness & Substance Use Disorder

This year, TMS Community Art students chose two big topics for this year’s ArtReach service-learning project: Homelessness and Substance Use Disorder.  6th grade chose to focus on Substance Use Disorder, 7th grade chose to focus on Homelessness, and 8th grade chose to focus on both topics. Students have been researching these topics, as well as creating artworks to raise awareness and raise money to help.

For each topic, we selected a related 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as our fundraising beneficiaries:

Substance Use Disorder – Larry Labonte Recover Center, Rumford ME –

Homelessness: Rumford Group Homes, Rumford ME –

The ArtReach Talent Show, scheduled for 3/19/20 from 4:30-8:00pm will serve as a fundraiser for these two organizations.  The student art exhibit and sale opens at 4:30pm in the Red Tile area – artworks can be purchased in this area until 7:00pm.  The student performance program begins in the auditorium at 6:00pm, and the event will conclude by 8:00pm.


ArtReach 2018-19:  

Mental Health and Wellness

At the start of the 2018-19 school year, Community Art students chose the year-long focus the ArtReach service-learning project –  Mental Health and Wellness.  We also selected three essential questions related to our big topic — one question for each grade level at our school. Community Art students researched these questions, and created artwork based on, and inspired by, that research. 

For each essential question, students selected a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that they wanted to help. The final choices for our essential questions and nonprofit beneficiaries were as follows:

Gr. 6 – Essential Question: ”How can animals help our mental health?” 

Beneficiary: K9s On The Front Line –


Gr. 7 – Essential Question: “How can sports and physical activity help our mental health?”

Beneficiary:  Maine Adaptive –


Gr. 8 – Essential Question: “How can forests help our mental health?”

Beneficiary: Bethel Community Forest Project (care of The Trust for Public Land) –

For more information about this project, please contact TMS Visual Art Teacher, Melissa Prescott via e-mail –



ArtReach 2017-18:  

The Importance of Spreading Kindness 

Students chose to focus this year’s ArtReach service-learning project on “The Importance of Spreading Kindness”.  They also selected nine subtopics representing areas that they felt were in need of kindness. Each Community Art student chose one of these subtopics to research and be inspired by for their art creations.  For each subtopic, students selected a related 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and we collected donations for each of these nonprofits during the TMS ArtReach Talent Show event on Thursday, March 22, 2018.  More information about this event is in the poster below. Our list of subtopics and nonprofits are:

-Cancer Support: Team Hailey Hugs

-Hurricane Relief: The Red Cross, Disaster Relief Program

-Mental Illness and Wellness: NAMI Maine

-Helping Animals: Graze In Peace

-Homelessness: Preble Street Resource Center

-Make-A-Wish: Make-A-Wish Maine

-Environmental Protection: Natural Resources Council of Maine

-Military Support: Veterans Adaptive Sports and Training:

-LGBTQ+ Support: Equality Maine


ArtReach 2018 Poster - JPG


ArtReach 2016-17:  

Preventing Animal Abuse and Cruelty

At the start of the 2016-17 school year, 8th Grade Advanced Art students chose to focus this year’s ArtReach service-learning project on preventing animal abuse and cruelty.  Throughout the first trimester, these students researched their choice of sub-topics relating to this cause and they created infographic posters to share their research. Besides learning about basic graphic design theories and practices in this project, students also learned about the topic of preventing animal abuse and cruelty in depth.  Their infographics presented facts about some positive efforts that are happening to help animals, as well as about some cruel and inhumane practices that harm animals.

Student infographics, as well as other animal-inspired artworks created by TMS students, were shared with the public and offered for sale at the TMS ArtReach Talent Show, held in March 2017.  Students worked together to plan and produce this show, as well as select an appropriate beneficiary connected to our service-learning focus.  Students decided that 100% of the proceeds from artwork sales and door donations should be donated to the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society. This nonprofit animal shelter in Lewiston is committed to using their resources to provide the best possible care for stray, abandoned and abused animals.  8th Grade Advanced Art students took a volunteer field trip to visit this organization in June 2017, where we learned more about their work and delivered the donations from the talent show, as well as donations of pet food and supplies. To learn more about this organization, visit them on the web at:


ArtReach 2014-15:  


The 2014-15 ArtReach project was called “Show Your Sparks” and it was focused on supporting the new Telstar Freshman Academy (TFA) program at the UMaine 4H Bryant Pond Learning Center.   Students wanted to advocate for and support sparks-focused learning opportunities at the TFA.  “Sparks” is a metaphor used to describe the passions and interests of youth that “light a fire in their lives and express the essence of who they are and what they offer to the world” (Scales, 2010).  All funds raised at the December 2014 ArtReach event were used to support a day of Sparks workshops at the TFA for all Telstar’s 8th and 9th grade students.   In addition, Mrs. Prescott was selected to help the TFA as program director for the second semester of the 2014-15 school year. 

Mrs. Prescott continued to work with ArtReach students throughout the year to help identify students’ Sparks and match them with learning opportunities to fuel their Sparks.  We collaborated with local nonprofits, teachers, and community volunteers to plan and host the first ever “Sparks Focus Day” in SAD#44, in June 2015.  This event gave every 8th and 9th grader a chance to have a day-long learning experience focused around a personal Spark.  These workshops were fun, interactive, educational, and they were designed to help participants fuel their Spark and connect them with other youth and adults in their community who share a similar Spark.  Workshops were held for the following Sparks: Music, Animals, Wilderness Survival, Cooking, Computer Science, Industrial Arts (woodworking & mechanics), Photography & Filmmaking, Athletics & Outdoor Recreation, and Integrated Arts. Each of these workshops was planned and led by a small team of youth and adults who shared the same Spark.  Our long term vision for this project is that each of these Sparks teams can continue to collaborate, creating opportunities and inspiration for young people to use their Spark to connect with and serve the SAD#44 community.

The TFA program is continuing in the 2015-16 school year, however, Mrs. Prescott will returning to teach visual art at TMS full-time. The “Sparks” project is not over, however, and you can expect to see more efforts related to Sparks in the 2015-16 school year.

To learn more about the 2014-15 ArtReach project, visit:

To learn more about Telstar Freshman Academy, visit:

Research shows that that when young people can identify their Spark and they have caring adults in their lives to help nurture their Spark, they have higher grades and better attendance in school, they are more likely to have strong social skills, they are more likely to volunteer to help others, and they report feeling a sense of purpose.  They are also less likely to engage in violent acts or struggle with depression. The research also shows that success at school skyrockets when the “thriving formula” is active in a young person’s life. The “thriving formula” is a Spark, three peers who can motivate and encourage the youth, and an opportunity to showcase that Spark (Benson, 2011).


ArtReach 2013-14:

“SERV: Special Environments Restoring Vitality”

On June 13, 2014, the TMS 7th & 8th Grade

Advanced Art Class presented the

The Make It Pawsable 5K &

Field Day Challenge. 

This was the culminating event of the

2013-14 ArtReach service-learning project.

For more information about this event, visit:



All proceeds  from this event were donated to the Bethel-based animal shelter –“Heart of the Mountains”.

To learn more about this organization, visit them here:


ArtReach 2012-13:

Connecting Youth and Elders 

ArtReach 2013 Culminating Event:


For this year’s ArtReach service-learning project, students chose to help and work with seniors in our area. They have built a website to showcase some of the work from this project, connecting youth and elders in the Bethel community.  To learn more, visit our website:

2012-13 ArtReach Jamboree & Student Art Sale:

12/7/12 – Sun Journal Article – “Students at Telstar Middle School host art fair, concert”:

YouTube Video – ArtReach Flash Mob:

This free event, held December 6th, 2012 at Telstar, featured a student art exhibit and sale, as well as a showcase of service-learning efforts connecting youth and elders.  The Jamboree concert featured special performances from local professional musicians and students focusing on the music of older generations.  We also surprised the audience with a “flash mob” dance featuring TMS students and teachers. We received excellent reviews from event visitors and participants, and we hope to bring a similar ArtReach event to you next year.

All proceeds from this event were donated to the Oxford County Meals on Wheels program.


ArtReach 2011-12:

“SERV: Special Environments Restoring Vitality”

Check out the official student-created website for this project:


ArtReach 2010-11:

“Path of Perseverance”

Check out the official student-created website for this project:

During the 2010-11 school year, students were very passionate about two different causes – the Bethel Trails Committee’s trail construction project in Bethel and the cause of cancer awareness and prevention. Advanced Art students worked together to merge these two ideas into one project. They decided to work with the Bethel Trails Committee to help complete Bethel’s Gateway Trail by extending the Telstar system toward the new Gateway trail extension.  We raised $1,100 for the trail construction with the December 2010 ArtReach event.  To learn more about the work of the Bethel Trails Committee, click HERE.  We also used this project to raise awareness and support for cancer prevention. In the spring, we organized a Mini Relay for Life fundraiser along the new trail to benefit the American Cancer Society.  We raised $3174 for the cause, we were also able to honor Nancy Young with the event.  Nancy was the longtime secretary of the Crescent Park Elementary School who passed away in August 2010 after a six-year battle with cancer. Thanks to all who made it to the ArtReach event and the Relay For Life to support this worthy cause! 


ArtReach 2009-10

“G.O.T. Farms”

Check out the documentary film, “G.O.T. Farms?”, produced by the TMS Film class – Or CLICK HERE to view full video on Vimeo.   If you would like a DVD copy of this film, please contact Melissa Prescott – The 2009-10 ArtReach project began the “G.O.T. Farms?” service-learning project, a TMS/THS collaboration focused on sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. This project has continued with the “G.O.T. Farms?” club.  This club is comprised of TMS and THS student volunteers and teacher advisors.  For more information about this project, click HERE. _______________________________________________________________

ArtReach 2008-09

“Preventing Animal Abuse”

 “Why we chose to help the Harvest Hills Animal Shelter” –

Check out the short film created by the Telstar Middle School Project Citizen Group for the 2008 ArtReach.  Our students decided to focus the 2008 ArtReach on preventing animal abuse in partnership with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The money raised at this event was donated to the non-profit, no-kill animal shelter, “Harvest Hills”, located in Freyburg, Maine. A group of TMS 8th Grade Advanced Art students took a visit to the shelter in November, 2008. Together, we learned more about the problems of animal abuse and cruelty, and about what this great organization is doing to try and solve these problems. To learn more about Harvest Hills, please visit their website: The ArtReach event featured a variety of student artworks for sale, as well as a live auction of artworks donated by local artists. There was also a program of special student performances in the auditorium. The show was very successful, the artwork was beautiful, the performances were awesome, and we raised $1,200 for the Harvest Hills Animal Shelter.  We presented the shelter with a check during our Telstar Heroes Assembly on January 30, 2009.