Thursday, December 22, 2011
Some of the students used the GAAH Aztec sun logo to create unique Christmas cards (above). The Cook Library Center is a wonderful atmosphere for all ages. There are toys for young ones to play with, a beautiful community kitchen, tables for activities & homework, and a bi-lingual library. Anyone can stop by, and volunteers to help with homework are always needed. Email Outreach@gaah.org to get info on upcoming community events or volunteer opportunities. ¡Feliz Navidad!
Friday, December 16, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Little GAAH dancers say farewell to their beloved Ballet & Tap instructor Kelly Malinowski this winter. Kelly has been teaching at GAAH for almost two years, and says, "I've loved working in this neighborhood, the students are so passionate and I will miss them all dearly"
Kelly comments on how the arts have been cut from many school programs, and therefore, emphasizes how important GAAH is to the kids. Kelly is specifically passionate about the benefits of dance in early childhood development. To read more about the beneficial role dance can play in physical, emotional, & cognitive development click here.
Kelly is off to graduate school in California to study public administration, and fondly says, "Thank you to the Cook Arts Center and to the dancers for all their hard work!"The Cook Arts Center offers high quality programming, with classes taught by professionals.
The Cook Arts Center will start a new semester this January 9th. Exciting new classes include Watercolor for Kids, Beads, Cards, & Glass Design (9-16 yrs), Recycled Sculpture (7+), Piñatas & paper Maché (5-15 yrs). Click here for the full list of classes!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
GAAH students gathered in the community room and fell under a trance as Mr. Lockington began to play the cello and sing a soulful song. Mr. Lockington later shared the inspiring story of how he went from playing cello professionally, to conducting orchestras.
The students enjoyed the interactive piece that Mr. Lockington wrote, and did a great job clapping at the correct parts in the song. Students also got a chance to ask Mr. Lockington questions, and share which instruments they are studying at the Cook Arts Center. GAAH appreciates Mr. Lockington for giving this wonderfully enriching experience to the Cook Library students.
Special thanks to GAAH's talented volunteer photographer Katherine Thelen, who took pictures of this event.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
11 dedicated volunteers decorated the center beautifully on Friday afternoon, and set up an impressive two table traditional altar (above). People brought "ofrendas" (candles, photos, and favorite items of loved ones) to place on the community altar.
Musicians Nuri Tett and Irma Rodriguez played some smooth Latin duets. Thanks for sharing your talent and inspiring our youth!
~Enjoy the rest of the pictures from El Día De Los Muertos below~
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Students and families had a blast decorating pumpkins in Mrs. Katherine and Mr. Jared's classes. Thanks again, Mr. Gilmore!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
This fall, GAAH has partnered with Spectrum health to bring Zumba to the neighborhood! Instructor Monica Sanders leads a high energy workout Thursdays at 1pm.
Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance fitness program that is very popular these days. Zumba incorporates hip-hop, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts & belly dancing into the routines.
|Shirley shows off her tie-dying abilities|
Jesus is excited about his new shirt. Combining his favorite colors, he created a funky piece of art that he can't wait to wear. Students also got a little lesson in science, learning that some liquids have the ability to stain!
Friday, September 30, 2011
Its 4:10pm and the entrance room to the Cook Arts Center is quiet; the calm before the storm. Noemi Ashley, the receptionist, glances at the clock and gets a hint of excitement in her eyes. Although she had been involved with GAAH for several years, she always eagerly anticipates the students’ arrival after school. The door bursts open and a swirl of students, leaves & autumn air fill the small entrance. Noemi exhibits a calm poise as she asks the students about their day and gets them signed in. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Noemi loves the family atmosphere at the center and especially enjoys working with the large Latino population. “The center really does make a change” she explains, “The classes help students build confidence which helps for their future.” Noemi remembers going to a community center growing up and says it had a positive impact on her life. There truly is a supporting community at GAAH and Noemi is just one of the important individuals who make it an enriching space. Executive Director Marjorie Kuipers says, “Noemi treats everyone with love & respect. She is patient and has the ability to juggle a variety of tasks.” In addition to the numerous tasks Noemi gracefully accomplishes at work, she is also pursuing an occupational therapy degree (full time!) at GVSU.
Cook Arts Center: Not Just For Kids Enthusiastic students pour into the Cook Arts Center & Cook Library Center everyday to strengthen their academic skills and embark on creative ventures. GAAH however, is not just for kids. On Tuesday nights, neighborhood members & people from greater Grand Rapids come together to stretch out their interest in yoga. Meryn McClelland, certified yoga instructor, leads the class with valuable cross-cultural competency. Around 7:45pm a comforting harmonic sound can be heard through the walls as yoga participants sing a traditional mantra that signifies love and community. Meryn is one of our many dedicated volunteers who make GAAH special. In addition to the community yoga class, adults have also requested their own piano class. Volunteer Katherine Thelen graciously teaches a kids art class during the piano class so that parents do not need to worry about childcare.
New Faces: Eva Jenson recently joined GAAH staff as our new multicultural & bilingual Outreach Coordinator. She says, “GAAH is so important to everyone involved. Staff members enjoy being here just as much as class participants. I hope to create even more opportunities for people to come celebrate culture and community.” Eva received a warm welcome and looks forward to exciting future endeavors.