Studio In A School

By: Pamela Stern

The Starrett Early Learning Center’s Universal Pre-K students welcomed a new program called Studio In A School along with instructor Virginia Levie. The work that these students did was phenomenal! This program Studio In A School allowed students to learn different forms of art with a visiting teacher. Each week Ms. Levie taught the students a different form of art: 3 Dimensional, painting, black and white, shapes and tearing. “Our youngsters did some amazing work displaying their artistic expressions through different art mediums, and their work was truly magical,” said Susan Plesnitzer, Director of Starrett Early Learning Center. Ms. Levie of Studio In A School enjoyed working with the students and teachers at Starrett Early Learning Center. “It is a delight to work w

ith the young students and staff at Starrett Early Learning for Studio In A School. In an era when early childhood education is much talked about but little understood, it is thrilling to witness the many different ways these teachers create for young children to learn in a way that is natural for them, through play and exploration,” said Virginia Levie. Ms. Kimaura chooses a theme for her students to learn about. The students were learning about New York City’s art and transportation systems. The students were learning about the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and Vincent Van Gogh (Starry Night and Sunflowers). Having an art gallery is a great way for the students to showcase their art. One student in particular took a real interest in the different forms of art. Carter, not only enjoyed the art lessons and the various types of art, but his creations were his determination of how to showcase it. Carter said, “When I grow up, I’m going to be an artist and a chef.” Studio In A School is a program that entails a specific instructor, Ms. Virginia Levie, to come to the school once a week to teach the children art and create different art projects such as three dimensional art, painting, and use different textures like sandpaper, tissue paper, and aluminum. The students were able to learn that art is not just flat designs on paper, but indeed much more. They were able to crinkle the paper and make loops over and under, which turned into many different types of designs like rollercoasters and dinosaurs. After the children finish their art work lesson, they reflect upon their designs with their teachers. Each child discusses his or her designs with their classmates. This enables the children not only create designs, but allows them to articulate and speak about their work. The students learn how to listen, and how to talk about what they see in each other’s work. One child might interpret something very differently than the next child, which allows them to ponder that thought too. “We are thankful for the opportunity that our school was chosen to have Studio In A School work with us, said Ms. Kimaura. “One of the things that I love about the Pre-K teacher mentoring I do for Studio In A School is that I learn from each one of schools that I work in and each one of the teachers. My iPhone right now is packed with images of great ideas I have seen at Starrett. The way Ms. Kimaura integrates art into all her areas of study is incredible. Hats off to Ms. Susan Plesnitzer, for creating this amazing center and keeping it going in grand style,” said Levie. On Friday, May 20th, these students opened up their art gallery with a ribbon cutting by one of the students, Carter, to their parents. Other classes were also invited to the Art Gallery Opening. Students applauded Carter for cutting the ribbon at the opening of the art gallery. The students told Carter, “Be careful, those are big scissors.” They were all so happy and proud! There were special balloons denoting the opening of the art gallery. The art gallery showcased school drawings, dinosaur exhibits, some abstract work, and even some art work of endangered animals. The parents loved it! Parents took photos of their children’s artwork that was displayed on the walls in the classroom. The art gallery housed the children’s artwork all over the classroom, on the walls, ceilings. “Art has evolved and it is growing. This is absolutely wonderful! It is a stepping stone,” said Ms. Kimaura. These children most certainly are not afraid to express themselves through their artwork. One student even called his piece a “tearadoctoal” which encompassed the fact that he used “tearing” and a good play on words to combine with a dinosaur type of animal. Carter’s imagination and receptiveness to art and especially the Studio In A School, is the reason why he was chosen to “cut the ribbon.” Photos: Pamela Stern and courtesy of Starrett Early Learning Center