ACES stu­dents get cre­ative

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Ayer's Cliff

The Ayer’s Cliff El­e­men­tary School’s gym­na­sium was a noisy place, last Wed­nes­day, filled with stu­dents, par­ents, grand­par­ents and oth­ers from the com­mu­nity, all there to ad­mire and cel­e­brate the hun­dreds of arts and crafts proj-

ects, on ex­hibit all around the gym, that the stu­dents had made. There were hot air bal­loon mo­biles hang­ing from the ceil­ing, pa­per lanterns and punched metal lanterns hang­ing from strings, paint­ings on glass in one cor­ner and bird­houses lined up on the stage, to name just a few of the col­or­ful dis­plays.

A well-at­tended spaghetti din­ner put on for the stu­dents, their par­ents, the school’s staff mem­bers and the dozens of vol­un­teers pre­ceded the joy­ous ‘vernissage’ of the chil­dren’s work.

Ear­lier in March, the school held a full week of around ten dif­fer­ent art, crafts and skills work­shops pre­sented by ex­perts from the area for all of the stu­dents of the school, from kinder­garten to grade six. “Each stu­dent got to choose four dif­fer­ent work­shops to do,” said kinder­garten stu­dent Ava Hart­ley’s mother as her daugh­ter showed me her batik paint­ing hang­ing on the gym’s wall. When asked if she liked the work­shops, Ava, who also tried bak­ing, sewing and jew­elry mak­ing, replied: “Yes, be­cause we got do fun things and learn!”

Grade one stu­dent Nathan Wil­liams got to make and paint a bird­house in a wood­work­ing work­shop, bake cook­ies and muffins, learn weav­ing and batik paint­ing. “I liked do­ing the wood­work­ing the best, but it would be fun to do it all again,” he com­mented af­ter show­ing me his bird­house, es­pe­cially proud of how he painted a striped de­sign on the roof.

Mov­ing up to grade two, dur­ing ‘work­shop week’ Amel­lia Langlois learnt how to do batik paint­ing, glass paint­ing, lantern­mak­ing and how to make a mo­bile. “I re­ally liked mak­ing the hot air bal­loon mo­bile. We had to put pa­per and glue on a bal­loon first, then af­ter we painted it all white and then with colours,” Amel­lia ex­plained.

“It was re­ally fun get­ting to learn all new stuff. I didn’t like any­thing best; I kind of liked it all!” said grade six stu­dent Cas­san­dra Langlois who tried bak­ing, wood­work­ing, mo­bile mak­ing and batik paint­ing. “I had never done wood­work­ing be­fore but I’d like to try to do it again,” she added.

“Knit­ting was my favourite. Now I’m knit­ting at home, mak­ing a square. I’m good at it!” said grade four stu­dent Sierra Bown who also took work­shops in sewing, weav­ing and paint­ing on glass. Sierra’s brother Dono­van, in grade two, liked the lantern­mak­ing best of all. “He

came right home af­ter his lan­tern-mak­ing work­shop and said ‘Can I have a can?’ and then showed the fam­ily how to do it,” said Mr. Bown who at­tended the vernissage. “You take a can, draw a pic­ture on a piece of pa­per and then put it on the can, and hit holes in the can to make the de­sign. But you have to put wa­ter in the can first and freeze it,” ex­plained Dono­van.

An­other work­shop that took place at the school dur­ing the spe­cial week was to teach square-danc­ing. While the vernissage was tak­ing place, the Weller fam­ily of Stanstead East set up a dance with a caller and mu­sic so the stu­dents could show off what they’d learnt.

To add a lit­er­ary side to the whole en­deavor, the stu­dents had to write jour­nals, which were also all on dis­play, about the new skills and tech­niques that they learnt dur­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I think the best part about the whole ex­pe­ri­ence was how the ac­tiv­ity re­ally brought the whole com­mu­nity to­gether. We had so many vol­un­teers who helped with the project, not just par­ents but grand­par­ents and peo­ple from the com­mu­nity,” com­mented the school’s prin­ci­pal, Del Springate, as the lively event drew to a close.

Nathan Wil­liams, in grade one, liked mak

ing a bird­house the best. Seen in the back is John Weller tak­ing care of the mu­sic part of a square-danc­ing

demon­stra­tion.

Dono­van Bown, in grade two, was proud of his batik paint­ing and his hot air bal­loon mo­bile.

Kinder­garten stu­dent Ava Hart­ley points out one of the bracelets she made dur­ing a jew­elry work­shop.

Grade two stu­dent Amel­lia Langlois made this col­or­ful batik Easter egg paint­ing.

Grade four stu­dent Sierra Bown holds her paint­ing done on glass and her favourite: a square of knit­ting.

Hold­ing her bird­house full of baked goods is grade six stu­dent Cas­san­dra Langlois.

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