ACES students get creative
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
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.