Monday, July 22, 2013

We were treated to an incredible lesson of learning about fossils and rocks after reading

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Here We Are! A Community Art Event

Here We Are! is the name of the program that is a collaboration of young children in Lynn at The REAL Program and Montserrat College of Art. The children and college students learn about themselves, each other and our community with the guidance of dedicated adults; many of whom have volunteered their time to be here. The REAL Program, Inc works closely with the Lynn Boys and Girls Club, Lynn Public Library and My Brother's Table and is held at the Congregation Ahabat Sholom on Ocean Street.  Tomorrow the children will have the opportunity to examine billion-year-old fossils and then create their own fossils out of clay.
First we will read Patrick's Dinosaurs!

Save the date!
Here We Are!
August 12 and 13 at Montserrat College of Art
23 Essex Street
Beverly, MA 01915

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Harold at the Lynn Public Library

The REAL Program and Montserrat College of Art were delighted to work with children at the Lynn Public Library this morning. Children were treated to a read-aloud of Harold and the Purple Crayon read by Daniel Stone. Volunteers Betsy Brown, Charlie Juliand, Narayan Plourde helped make the day a success. All of this literacy-based fun is being documented to be shown in an art show featuring the work of our young artists at Montserrat College of Art on August 12th and 13th in the second floor of the Hardie Building. Mark your calendars!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Harold and the Purple Crayon Journey

Today we journeyed through the imaginary world of Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. This fantasy book was written more than 50 years ago and it is still captivating! "How old do you think Harold is?" "How can this really happen?"These were some of the comments that the young students asked our leaders in art today. Phoebe Warner and Daniel Stone are interns from Montserrat College of Art this summer. They are guiding through very creative and thoughtful literacy-based art lessons that the children in The REAL Program are thoroughly enjoying.

The children got lost in their own worlds of drawing on the paper that we had taped to the walls to create our imaginary worlds. Some of them worked alone and many of them worked with the art students or with our veteran volunteers of Emily Geaney and Ashley Stiles.  Below is Daniel working with his "allies" in the world of mustache wars. Anything is possible!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Much More to Anticipate

Hip Hop on Pop with Dr. Seuss to the beat was less than rhythmic with Jan and Charlie leading the group on Thursday. Mr. Herb read the book while Mrs. Brown played her Ants at a Picnic game with some of the new little guys who just laughed and laughed using zoo sticks to pick up their ants. They also played a throughly engaged game of Head Bandz. Referrals to The REAL Program are coming from all over the city and children, volunteers, peer nonprofits are also coming from all over the city. No pun intended but the program is novel!

A chance to interact with other children and be in a group environment are two major keys to this program. So many of the children have not had experience away from their small network of family, extended family and neighborhood. The children are not ready to read but they are ready to learn and they are ready to be with others.

All in all, the first week of The REAL Program, Inc was a success. Volunteers came, children came and came back for more (One little girl gave up a sleep over to come to the reading program.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

REAL Fun with Montserrat College of Art Students

There were 14 happy children drawing and talking today at The REAL Program. We even were entertained by our very talented Hayliana who played the cello for us, too. Daniel from Montserrat read the book Me on the Map today. The children asked many questions and they answered many questions. Most of them had an understanding of what a map does. Phoebe from Montserrat showed the different kinds of maps displayed on the walls and then the magic happened:  Magic markers, colored pencils, pencils, crayons, rulers, and large sheets of white paper were put to work. Those blank sheets of paper became incredible dream houses, cities, and flowers. The wide age range of children is clear as they each gravitate to their respective developmental comfort zone.
Mr. Herb read and played games with the youngest  REAL kids while the others concentrated on their work.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The REAL Program, Inc is Launched!!

The REAL Program, Inc has started its summer program at the Congregation Ahabat Sholom. Children  come on Mondays and Wednesdays OR on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On our first day we were grateful for the nice weather as we could go outside and play four square and other interactive games. As our four square players were novices, we devised a question addition to the game in case the child could not stay on the square very long. This allowed us to build vocabulary or math skills into a simple game of four square. It worked beautifully!

The children drew or wrote on their I am, I can, I will page. They all were so engaged that they did not know it was 11:00 am and time to go! Oh, yes. They each chose a book to take home to keep. Our teaching team consisted of Mrs. Brown, Mr. Herb, Ms. Stacy, Ms. Jan, Meghan and Kelly. We had 14 children in attendance on our first REAL day!

Day One of The REAL Program on Tuesdays and Thursdays was delightful! We had 7 children ranging in ages 3-11; we had 6 cultures represented in the composite of our students, volunteers and interns. Phoebe and Daniel, our Montserrat College of Art leaders, read the story Me on the Map. After a brief discussion about maps and a look at the vast assortment of maps on the walls, the young students were given a chance to draw their own maps on 24" x 36" drawing paper. They drew. They drew. They drew! It was a quiet room of children and young adults each concentrating on their own work. Then, suddenly we had a community of laughter and conversation as Daniel, Montserrat art intern, said he was drawing a picture of a horse with feathers. One young student told him that was not possible! Another student said it was possible if a chicken ran over a horse. Someone else added that the chicken must be the size of a school bus and could you imagine the size of the egg it "pooped". Well, that was all that was needed to bring us all into a world of conversation. 

The children showed the maps they drew and they shared a bit more about themselves. We will frame these maps for our art show at Montserrat College of Art on Monday and Tuesday, August 12th and 13th. 
Our teaching team consisted of Ms. Stacy, Ms. Jan, Mr. Charlie, Mr. Daniel, Ms. Phoebe and Tiffani.