By Abe Fox, corps member serving on the CSX Greenwood team
This past month, the Starfish after-school program was themed around making healthy choices. Over the course of the month, students learned about different ways they could incorporate healthy choices into their daily lives, be that through physical activity, artistic expression, or learning how to use their imaginations.
On Tuesday, March 29, the students engaged in a self-expression activity. The students first participated in a “four corners” activity where they moved to a corner of the gym that agreed with their favorite response to a given situation. The corners were labeled dance, write, draw, or music. The purpose of the four corners activity was to show how different students have varying emotional outlets. The lesson concluded with students illustrating self-portraits: artistic representations of what makes them unique.
Two days later, the students were able to experience first-hand the professional artwork at the Menino Art Center (MAC), which is located just down the street from the Elihu Greenwood Leadership Academy. Led by seven corps members and two volunteers, the Starfish after-school students walked the 15 minutes down the road to the MAC. Upon settling into the main gallery, MAC employees presented the current exhibits to corps members and students. The room was full of paintings from Haitian artists commemorating the last year’s earthquake disaster.
From realistic to abstract, the students were fascinated as they learned about the various kinds of painting techniques used by the Haitian artists. Each artist uniquely expressed their grief, showing their interpretation of the tragic event through their canvas. Leaving the MAC, students were reflective of the earthquake but also inspired by their newfound ideas of how they too could express themselves.