By Helen Zeidman
“This is it, the big day. All your hard work will pay off.” Mrs. Mina Hoffman said to the high school art students as they walked into Windsor Manor elementary school on May 1.
Hoffman has been working with the students for months to complete a collaboration project with the kindergarten art students at Windsor Manor. The kindergarteners drew pictures of monsters and the high school students sculpted them into three dimensional clay figures. The assembly was the big reveal where the kindergarteners were given their monsters.
Mrs. McBrien, an art teacher at the high school, and Mrs. Filiziani, an art teacher at Windsor Manor, planned this project together.
Filiziani, who used to be McBrien’s student teacher, knew that art could bridge the gap between the elementary and high school students.
“I think it connects students,” Filiziani said. “It is nice for the kids to see how they can do art at the high school.”
The high school students on the trip, 28 in total, were anxious to finally present the younger students with their masterpieces.
The high school students were waiting to give their gifts to the kindergarteners, when they were surprised with their own.
McBrien, who has been on leave from school since the end of April due to surgery, showed up at the event, surprising all of her art students. She walked in with watery eyes and a brace around her neck, but she still kept a huge smile on her face the whole time.
She went hugging and fist bumping every one of her students.
“I’m going to be pooped this afternoon, but it’s worth it.” McBrien said.
After the reunion was over, the kindergarteners eagerly filed into the gym. They impatiently sat cross-legged in five lines that stretched across Windsor Manor’s gym.
Meghan Rutzebeck, a senior who was crucial to the project, gave a short speech to the kindergarteners before they received their monsters.
“See, at the high school we have art class like you do,” Rutzebeck said. “You gave us a monster and we made them into 3D figures. You can take them home and keep them forever. Isn’t that cool?”
A chorus of excited “yeahs” erupted from the kindergarteners.
Then, the students were given their precious monsters. The kindergarteners marvelled at the creations and the magic that brought them from a drawing into real sculptures.
At the end of the trip, kindergarteners were hugging the high school students who made their sculpture, taking pictures, and playing with their creations. The sound of the kindergarteners’ thank-you’s was loud enough to be heard all of the way at the high school.