Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Notes from an Intern: Calvin College Field Trip

Last Friday, April 23rd, 28 students from Cook Library went on a field trip to Calvin College! Isayra, a 9-year-old student who went on the adventure, told me all the details. First, they rode on "cool" buses with their Calvin tutors to the campus. Once they arrived they got to visit a dorm room, then headed to lunch in the cafeteria! Estelita and Maria had ice cream, and Isayra had a hamburger! They loved all the food. After that the boys went to play soccer while the girls were still eating. Lots of games were played in the basement of a dorm, cookies were decorated and the girls also went to play in the sand of the volleyball court! They were sad to leave at the end of the day, but are very excited to go back next year! Big thanks to the Calvin students and Calvin College for hosting!

-Ande Mustine is a senior at Calvin College majoring in English. She is interning at the Cook Arts Center and Cook Library Center this winter and spring.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spring Classes in Full Gear at Arts Center

The spring class session at the Cook Arts Center started off with a bang and we are looking forward to a great six-week session of fun and creative classes. We are offering 28 classes in our spring after-school class schedule including Drawing for Kids, Spring Clay Critters for Ages 5-8, Ballet, Children’s Potter’s Wheel, Zumba, Children’s Sewing and Garden & Cooking Club. With 223 students registered in this session many classes have been filled to capacity. We are also offering two digital arts classes which are taking place at the Cook Library Center on Wednesday afternoons. The spring session will culminate with a dance and music recital in late May.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tolly Time at the Cook Library Center

Every third Thursday of the month, the Cook Library Center hosts a Tolly Time storytime for children which includes a guest reader and at the end of the program each child is able to pick out a free book for his or her personal library collection. Our guest for the month of April was with Dietrich Roth. Dietrich immigrated from Germany after the war. He talked to the children about his life in Germany during the war and the struggles he and his family faced. He was an engineer who later started company with some partners called RoMan Manufacturing. His son Bob Roth is the current president of that company. Dietrich's telling of his personal history had the children hanging on his every word. Thank you, Dietrich, for being our April Tolly Time guest!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Arts Education Grant Makes Field Trip Possible

Last Wednesday, April 14, the Cook Arts Center hosted over 50 students in grades 4th to 8th from Holy Name of Jesus school. Thanks to an arts education grant from the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids, we were able to plan two field trips for these students in April. On April 14th the students experienced a clay class taught by Cook Arts Center Pottery Studio Manager Madeline Kaczmarczyk and created clay bowls in the style of Native American potter Maria Martinez. The students also enjoyed an hour of dance and movement with local dancer and instructor Laura Armenta. The students will come back to the Arts Center in two weeks to finish their clay bowls and also to participate in a hands-on and interactive percussion workshop led by Cook Arts Center contract artist Josh Dunigan. In addition to the support from the Arts Council for this project, the bus transportation costs were covered by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs School Bus Program!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Notes from an Intern: Yu-Gi-Oh!

Last Thursday, April 8th at the Cook Library Center, while the kids were on spring break, around 15-20 boys got together in the back room of the Library for a Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament. The fantasy/battle card game is fantastic for developing strategy and math skills, as well as teaching kids how to care for their possessions. (Collecting Yu-Gi-Oh! cards means taking care of them so you can use them in a card battle!) Everyone enjoyed themselves, from the youngest 6-year-old to the high-schoolers! The advance tournament winner was Union, and the beginner tournament winner was Enesto.

-Ande Mustine is a senior at Calvin College majoring in English. She is interning at the Cook Arts Center and Cook Library Center this winter and spring.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Field Trip to the Art Museum!

Thanks to the generosity of Amway, the Cook Arts Center was given several tickets to take a group of students to the Grand Rapids Art Museum. We used the tickets this week for a special spring break field trip and were able to take Cook Arts Center students Magaly, Daniela and Alejandra to the museum for their first visit ever. The girls were able to take in the beautiful jewelry of Alexander Calder which is one of the major exhibits at the museum right now. That exhibit was particularly fitting as all three of the girls had taken jewelry classes at the Cook Arts Center before and enjoy making their own jewelry in their spare time. In addition, we were able to drop by the education center for several activities including collage-making. They even got a chance to make themselves into a moving Calder mobile! Thank you very much to Amway for making this special field trip possible!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break Fun at the Arts Center

This week, April 5-8, the Cook Arts Center is hosting a spring break camp including art, dance and music activities for children ages 4 to 16. The theme of the spring break camp has the children exploring the five senses through visual and performing arts. Yesterday, the children were able to have some hands-on fun with drumming and percussion under the direction of Cook Arts Center contract artist Josh Dunigan. The art class also explored the theme of sense through discussing the feel and sound of the wind and then created colorful windsocks which they could hang in a window or on a porch at their home. The spring break camp is running from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day this week until Thursday, April 8.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sí Se Puede

Every March 31 since 2000, the Committee to Honor César E. Chávez has celebrated the anniversary of his birth with a social justice march down Grandville Avenue. For an hour yesterday morning traffic was rerouted and the avenue was packed with more than a thousand exuberant children, youth, and adults chanting Sí Se Puede ("Yes We Can"), the anthem of the late, great social change agent, César E. Chávez. It ended at Roosevelt Park Community Church with a standing-room-only celebration of César's life.

César E. Chávez was a labor leader and civil rights activist who founded United Farm Workers. "When a the man who feeds the world by toiling in the fields is himself deprived of the basic rights of feeding, sheltering, and caring for his own family," he said, "the whole community is sick." Using such non-violent tactics as strikes, boycotts, and personal fasts, he made the world aware of the dire working conditions of U.S. agricultural workers and helped bring about industry-wide change.

Thanks to the Committee to Honor César E. Chávez, Grand Rapids will never forget this American hero. The committee spearheaded efforts for the commemorative designation of a portion of Grandville Avenue as César E. Chávez Boulevard; to change the name of Hall Elementary School to César E. Chávez Elementary School; and for the passage of Senate Bill No. 352 that designated March 31 of each year as César E. Chávez Day in the State of Michigan.