Combining their love of the arts with community service, ten members of the junior class welcomed ten 3rd-5th graders from the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester to Derryfield on April 28 for an afternoon packed with creative projects. The young students were chaperoned by Sierra Gilmore, Fine Arts Director at the Boys and Girls Club, and a former Derryfield student.
After a quick tour of the art rooms, Head of Upper School Reina Stimpson led the visitors to the Science and Innovation Center, a large and airy two-story space filled with light, and oversized portraits of inspirational scientists created by former Derryfield students, Jake and Josh Ehret. Captains for the day Marby Vinton and Julia Logan introduced themselves and outlined the schedule of events.
First up was personalizing tote bags, which later served as carry home satchels for all the projects. Next, Tiffany Zhou, Suprina Kbadkar, Julia Logan, and Abby Stark guided the eager participants through various mediums, including an “eco art” assemblage constructed from recycled materials.
Seeking to keep their young charges engaged, Colleen Bahan piloted the way to the Athletic and Wellness Center, where she and Marby Vinton led a high energy, top pops, music and dance session. Initial shyness quickly gave way to enthusiasm and laughter.
Switching gears, the students again got hands on with a mural painting activity coordinated by collaborating members of the senior class, Maya Neuman and Ruby Amorim. The resulting free-standing panel, decorated with a tree and the names of all the visiting students, is slated to reside in the second floor humanities hallway–a lasting testament to the artful day.
The final item on the agenda was creative writing–both stories and poetry–inspired by prompts given by Ponita Ty, Emily Litchfield and Rain Cole. The Boys and Girls Club kids settled into the final stretch with an air of great concentration.
The impetus for the event, hosted by junior class LEAD (Leadership, Ethics, and Development) students, was elaborated upon by Marby Vinton.
“We decided to do an ‘Arts Day’ because we wanted to give kids an opportunity to come to Derryfield and inspire them to get involved in creative arts. We knew that a lot of kids might not have as many opportunities to participate in arts as we do at Derryfield, so we wanted to give kids who were passionate or even just interested in arts the chance to spend a few hours here with our resources and let them have fun!”