This heart is popping up on our stuff now.
This year we started doing free, after school clubs at Baseline Middle School. It started with the guitar club that started at the library over last summer moving to the middle school in the fall since it was middle schoolers who came to the club and it made it easier for students to participate if they didn’t need to find a ride to the library. Right about then Nicole Guminski got involved with Foundry Hall and was interested in doing a drama club at Baseline, too. Her club was a big hit and is presenting a production of Nerd Herd on Friday, May 31st at Baseline Middle School for the general public.
Here “at” Foundry Hall we are always thinking about space. Our space is gone, we carry out all of our programming and performances by sharing space with other non-profits, businesses and the schools. Despite the challenges of operating this way, we continue because what else would we do?
This past year of offering clubs has been pretty fun. Coupled with a few projects in the schools (Sh-amp murals with North Shore Elementary and Baseline students as well as a professional mural at Baseline, African dance workshops at Lincoln Elementary and Covert Public Schools and the Asaran Earth Trio at Baseline and the High School) we have been able to reach tons of kids through creative work.
Having non-class related activities allows kids to be in the school space in a different way. The after school vibe is really nice at Baseline; Sarah Rydecki’s Art Club is working on projects sometimes spilling out into the hall. Some band and orchestra students create some musical background as they work on music down the hall.
Creating more after school activities for students that want to try something new, get a chance to meet and socialize with students outside their classes, in different grades and express themselves seems like a very valuable thing for a school. It creates pride, enhances the desire to come to school, builds community in the school, creates mini-mentorships and peer to peer learning opportunities and builds self esteem.
Slowly we are building a relationship with the school districts, principals, teachers and students which takes time, energy and cooperation on both ends so we are really appreciative of the district’s support.
We hope to build upon this next year – who wants to create a club or offer a project or participate in arts day?