How alumni use their BYU educations to serve their communities, neighbors, and families.

Drawing on what she learned at BYU, Katie Van Dyke uses various activities to help her daughter learn each day while waiting for the bus.

Drawing on what she learned at BYU, Katie Van Dyke uses various activities to help her daughter learn each day while waiting for the bus.

Learning Till the Bus Comes

Painting in the batik method is just one of the many art projects Lisa Stewat does with her children.

Painting in the batik method is just one of the many art projects Lisa Stewat does with her children.

One of my favorite times of the day is when my daughter, Bethany, and I sit in the window seat of our front room waiting for her bus to pick her up and take her to her early-intervention kindergarten class. As we wait we sing songs, do fingerplays, read stories, and even learn sign language. For Bethany, this is just a fun time where she gets mom all to herself. But because of my BYU education, I know that it is so much more than that. I know that for Bethany, who was diagnosed with severe speech delays when she was 2, it is an important part of her language development.

While working toward an elementary education degree at BYU, I learned that music helps enhance language learning. I learned that the rhymes from fingerplays and stories help children become aware of the patterns and rhythms of language. As I have incorporated this learning into the time I spend with Bethany, I have watched with enthusiasm as her language develops. We have even discovered that sign language helps Bethany remember corresponding printed words and letters that she would otherwise forget.

Bethany is my seventh child, and with her older brothers and sister, I used my BYU education to enrich their experiences with language and literacy. But with Bethany, my BYU education has moved beyond enriching my family’s life—it has become an essential part of my child’s growth and development.

—Katie Van Orden Van Dyke (BS ’90), Cedar Hills, Utah

The Eternal Desire to Create

My BFA in art education from BYU has helped me enrich the education of my five home-schooled children. We create drawings to assist with learning sounds, illustrate nature notebooks, sculpt sea creatures, sketch confusing math concepts, and learn about the types of art created by different cultures throughout history.

We also do other art projects—such as sewing books, creating block prints, and painting using the batik method—to have fun together and feed the eternal desire to create.

My BYU education is a blessing as I teach different art techniques to the various organizations in my ward. I also teach children’s art classes at the local gallery. Thanks to what I learned at BYU, I am able to guide my own and others’ children in positive and uplifting ways, helping them gain skills and develop their creative abilities through the medium of art.

—Lisa Arch Stewart (BFA ’91), Enumclaw, Wash.