The ARTS+ACTION Cafeteria Waste Reduction Residency at PS 221 has been a huge success! Here are a few pictures of the amazing creations 5th graders have been working on over the past few months. More pictures and a video coming soon!
Today the CafCu team is in Crown Heights Brooklyn with students at PS221. 5th graders are continuing work in CafCu's ARTS+ACTION Program, where they are about to start construction on puppets made from used plastic foam lunch trays. This project is especially timely, because the school does not currently have a full-time art teacher due to budget cuts.
In the photo, a student explains her puppet design idea to the class. Students' design presentations follow a group socratic discussion that explores why plastic foam is good and why it is bad, as well as the life cycle of plastics.
Their discussion lead to the creation of several anti-hero charaters, expressed by one student as a split-faced design, called "Dos". She tells the class that the two sides represent the good and bad aspects of using plastic foam in the cafeteria.
Puppet design and construction is an amazingly interdisciplinary project. On top of bridging the divide between climate change and cafeteria waste, this program utilizes art, personal expression, language arts, data analysis, and personal ethics. Students are developing teamwork skills, listening to others, and making memorable connections to ELA and math. Go PS221!
Stay tuned for more updates about the ARTS+ACTION Project.
Two weeks ago, I asked a 5th grade class in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, “ Can anyone give an example of a Change Maker in their own family?”
One student proudly told how he recently taught his mother to recycle. A second student explained how she convinced her father to set up a recycling station at home, sharing with him why this is important for the world. A third student shared a similar story, thrilled that he sold the idea of recycling and waste sorting to his grandmother!
We are impacting children’s lives!
Our ARTS+ACTION Cafeteria Waste Reduction program is empowering students to be citizen problem-solvers, design detectives, and environmental leaders, the skills needed for ensuring innovation of climate smart solutions. We are creating an environmental education model for NYC and the nation.
Due to recent budget cuts, these 5th graders have no art teacher and are soaking up this opportunity to be creative and to be a part of meaningful change! Our ARTS+ACTION curriculum has double the meaning.
-Debby Lee Cohen, Director
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