Greenwich School Showcases Rainforest ArtLink

Cooking Dinner for Mom, by Milton, Age 12, Guatemala

Cooking Dinner for Mom, by Milton, Age 12, Guatemala

On Thursday June 11th, North Street Elementary School in Greenwich, CT invited the parents of their 5th grade students to come see artwork created in the Rainforest ArtLink program. The display included their art and the art work produced by their partner school in the Petén region in Guatemala. Creative Connections Founder Alan Steckler attended as a guest, and the morning started with a brief presentation overview of the Rainforest ArtLink program followed by some thoughts shared by student and teacher participants about their experiences with in this years’ Rainforest ArtLink program. Parents were able to ask questions about the process to better understand the tremendous effort the teachers and their children put in that made this year’s program such a success.
“It was exciting to watch the students share their insightful cultural discoveries with one another and their parents, and to meet the team of their art, classroom, Spanish, and even the music teacher who worked so closely together to inspire the kids,” said Steckler.  

My Wonderful Meal, by Katie, Age 10, USA

My Wonderful Meal, by Katie, Age 10, USA

When asked what the students discovered about their partner’s culture that “knocked their socks off,” many commented on the distance some teachers and students traveled to get to school each day, the heavy reliance on harvesting their own food to be eaten, and the fact that many of the Guatemalan children were expected to work on family farms every day after school. These cultural discoveries were gathered throughout the course of the ArtLink process, from scenes depicted in the Guatemalan artwork, sentences written on Artist Description Sheets and from asking direct questions to their partner peers during the live videoconference sessions.

 

 

 

 

Students at North Street School, CT

Students at North Street School, CT

The Guatemalan artwork was beautifully displayed alongside photocopies of the North Street students’ art in bulletin boards in the school’s front hallway, and students took great pride in showing their creations to their parents. Students and their parents were then shown recorded segments from their classes’ live videoconferences, where the students engaged in a dialogue with their peers. These videoconferences allow the classes to meet the students whose artwork they have received, interpreted and analyzed, and ask questions to further understand each other’s cultures and support the discoveries gathered from the artwork.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you North Street Elementary for the wonderful morning and for allowing your students the opportunity to share their Rainforest ArtLink experiences!

For more about Creative Connection’s Rainforest ArtLink videoconferences, please read this article about a recent session at Rowayton Elementary School: www.thehour.com/news/norwalk/rowayton-school-students-connect-with-peers-in-guatemala/article_60879edd-1dd1-5f99-817b-95f0fa5a48c9.html

By Elizabeth Kirst

 

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