A brightly-colored school bus pulls up to the local elementary school, ready to be boarded by a group of excited children. But this vehicle isn’t for transportation. It’s for creating art and inspiring creative thinking.
Tap Tap Art School founder, Amelia Rabroker, began her company after years of working as an educator in the Killeen Independent School District. At the time, her students were learning about the colorful Tap Tap buses in Haiti, and she wondered if she could use a similar vehicle to bring art to other children in the Central Texas area.
“I got this idea to create a mobile art school on a bus,” Rabroker said. “I thought, how cool would it be to have designs all over it like the Tap Tap buses in Haiti. And when it came time to name the school, Tap Tap Art School just seemed to fit.”
After naming her new business, Rabroker contracted with the Montessori Schools of Central Texas and began providing the schools’ art education. Soon, word go out and schools all over the area were asking her to stop by and teach their students about art.
“I will go to different campuses and teach on the bus,” she said. “I pull up, teach the lesson, and they leave with a project.”
While children were thoroughly enjoying her visits to their local schools, they wanted more. Rabroker began getting inquiries from parents about weekly art classes and camps that would encourage more art exploration.
“I found a house on Mountain Lion Road (in Harker Heights). It looks like something out of a storybook with its Victorian style and big oak trees. It screamed creativity, and is very accessible to the community,” she said. “So, I decided that was where I would open the portion of the art school where I would do art classes, art camps, and an afterschool program.”
While Rabroker started as a one-woman operation, she now has a staff of artists and educators that teach everything from sculpture to animation to children and adults.
“We are really focused on art education and what it does for children and adults alike,” she said. “We want everyone to have the confidence to create something because art is all around us.”
For more information on art classes, camps, parties, or the afterschool program, visit taptapartschool.com, visit their location at 103 Mountain Lion Road in Harker Heights, or call (254) 833-5055.
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Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.