A Busy Patchwork Afternoon

Right now, the kids are running around outdoors, enjoying a little sunshine and warmer temperatures. They’re skipping rope, throwing a Frisbee, and tossing a couple balls around. Last week, there was snow on the ground!

It’s the start of a busy afternoon in the Arts & Smarts children’s program. Dixie has 14 students scheduled for tutoring. It’s enough to fill up Book Cartthe tutoring room and require an additional table in the hall. Some are working on homework, some are working on skill-building lessons that Dixie makes available, and some are playing educational games. One girl is discussing the “baby orange” that was part of her snack and singing it a song before being re-directed to her homework.

Pat pulls out the beautiful, super durable, brand new book cart in preparation for Book Club. It arrived yesterday in a giant box that was a great plaything in itself. It’s a welcome replacement, funded by the Evansville Downtown Optimists, for our old, tired, broken book cart that had served us well for at least 15 years.

Elisa prepares the ceramics studio for the older kids who will be learning to throw clay on a potter’s wheel and to make artful ceramic coral pieces to add to our aquarium.

This month, the kids have also been busy learning from Hali, one of our interns, how to draw their hands using the blind Peyton's Handcontour technique in which the artist looks at his or her subject and not the paper. The kids had varying degrees of success in not looking at their paper, but all their drawings were interesting.

They’ve also been drawing trees by observing the trees growing around Patchwork. Actually looking at a live tree helped them focus on new details like the way each tree’s bark and branches look different from others. Their assignment from Hali was to find a place to sit where they could see a tree.

Jane overheard one little girl exclaim, “We found one! It’s big! But we’re going to SHRINK it!”

Her tree drawing was lovely.

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