GreenArts Afterschool Program - 2019
What: An environmental and health-focused arts afterschool program
Who: 2nd and 3rd graders
When: Throughout the school year
Where: P.S. 55
Current Funders: This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council through a CASA grant from NYC Council Member Vanessa Gibson.
To expose children to the importance of healthy living, healthy foods, and physical fitness
To increase children’s self-confidence through writing and public speaking
To develop children’s fine art skills in drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture
To expose children to social activism
The Bronx Children’s Museum GreenArts After School program worked with 19 children in second grade at C.S. 55 and in collaboration with SCAN to provide 35 fine art and music sessions twice a week from January to June 2019. Teaching artists Estefania Chavez and Luss Nigaglioni guided children in a multimedia exploration involving music, art, and film to explore how children can activate their voice as artists to inspire people to care about their health and their community.
The program began with a field trip to visit Bronx-born Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at Hostos College. Students learned about her life story and how she became an advocate for the Bronx.
Next students went on a field trip to The City Museum of New York to view a guided tour the exhibit “ Activist New York.” The students used these two trips as inspiration to create an original song about leading a healthy life, along with sets and props for a film incorporating drawing, painting, and collage.
Working in groups children came up with the lyrics to their song “Stay Strong” which explored topics of mental and physical health. They worked collaboratively to create a storyboard, dialogue, and set design and learned the process of stop animation. Students developed confidence and presentation skills by reflecting on the group’s work at the end of every class.
During the classes the children also received a visit from the Bronx Children’s Museum mobile exhibit “Waters On The Go!” that highlights the local flora and fauna in the Bronx River and Orchard Beach.
Another highlight of the program was when Tanya Fields from Urban Liberated Farm came to speak with the students about the importance of healthy eating and taught them to make apple butter and kale smoothies.
At the ending celebration on May 29th, 2019 students performed their original songs and viewed their film with all of SCAN’s after school groups and caregivers, for a total of 481 people total. Children performed and enjoyed food and dancing with their peers as they celebrated the work they created during the year.
“Every year is a great opportunity for our children to grow their interest in art, music and activism. Thank you to the Bronx Children’s Museum we have a number of children interested and fluent in arts literacy. They enjoy the program and they learn a great deal of skills from fine arts, literacy, as well as social emotional learning and coping skills. We appreciate everything you do for us.“ — Principal Luis Torres
“I loved everything about the program; my daughter loves the art, and this why is she is in afterschool. We appreciate everything the Bronx Children’s Museum does for us.” — Germarie R., Mother
“The Bronx Children’s Museum brought awareness to our students about the power their voice has in our community. The feid to meet Sonia Sotomayor and to the City Museum of New Work were Wonderful! Thank you!” — Shanell M., SCAN Coordinator
“My favorite part was singing on the mic with Mr. Luss and making up our own dance moves to be healthy!” — Hyssa M.