Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Learning

As our summer continues, Cook Arts Center and Cook Library Center students continue making art and learning about the world around them.
Students have continued learning about different parts of the world during session two at the Cook Arts Center. Below, Edgar J. and Adrian V. work on their Hawaiian art projects after learning different facts about the state. Students discovered that our President was born there, learned about Hawaiian wildlife, and even talked about volcanoes.

Students have also been doing some great sculptural work. Ronny shows off some bracelets he made after doing a fun math activity and Arealis works on her Alexander Calder themed sculpture after learning about Grand Rapids' own Calder sculpture, La Grande Vitesse.

Everyone at the Cook Library Center has been just as busy. Below Ms. Nikki V., one of our amazing volunteers, leads an activity about earth science.

Kids of all ages learned about plate tectonics, earthquakes, and volcanoes and worked together to create a small "baking soda volcano" model.
Cook Library Center students have also done a lot of reading in the book club. After finishing some books, students have the chance to create different art projects with themes from the story. Below, Erik and some classmates create butterflies after reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."

Last week, students from both facilities also had the chance to take a field trip to Grand Rapids Public Library's Main Branch, where Tim Gleisner from the Local History and Archives Department, gave us a very special tour of the historical archives. Students got a sneak peak into the refrigerated archives and had the chance to see documents from different parts of Grand Rapids' history, including the very first maps of Grand Rapids!

Below, Mr. Gleisner lets students smell the scent of vinegar on historic documents and photos that are kept in the refrigerator. He also brought out old news articles and real estate cards from the Grandville Avenue neighborhood, and some students got to see photos of their very own houses from back in the 60's and 70's. I've never seen students so interested in history!

After visiting the library, we traveled over to Schuler's Books & Music downtown. There, Ms. Lori Slager and other tutors from the Creative Writing Center worked with our students to create their own collaborative story. Everyone worked together and had a lot of fun writing the tale of "WW7 - Mars Revolution and the Attack of Alientastic," which is soon being published and sold in a book of stories created entirely by youth. Students competed in a Speed Scrabble competition and then enjoyed browsing for books and lunch in the park. It was a great day of fun and learning!

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center.

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