NEWARK — Twenty-eight Newark High School Art Club students recently helped Lincoln School students develop his or her own artwork that will be made into various keepsakes like mugs, tote bags, ornaments, tee shirts and stationery that parents and others can purchase and treasure for a lifetime and that will benefit the school PTA.
Pre-K teacher Stephanie Joyce, who coordinated the fundraiser this year, asked Newark High School students to be a part of it.
NHS Art teacher Courtney Dentel jumped at the chance to have her high school students work with the 261 pre-K through second grade students at Lincoln School and produce artwork for the fundraiser.
And so on Oct. 17, one group of Dentel’s Art Club students worked with Pre-K, Kindergarten and SHAPE program students. students. Another group of students worked with first and second graders.
“In one, very productive and fun-filled, busy day each child in Lincoln School created a piece of artwork for the Square 1 Art fundraiser,” Dentel said.
“It’s such a rewarding experience when older students collaborate with the younger ones . . . They always have so much to offer each other. What I most love is when high school students can get back in touch with childhood and be exposed to the imagination that freely flows from young children! For many kids, that sense of imagination and creativity gets lost somewhere during their early adolescent years.”
Dentel prepared her students for the experience by telling them they would be acting in a teaching capacity and she expected them to be respectful and act with maturity and professionalism because they would be representing not only the Art Club but NHS as well.
“I was proud when Stephanie told me how impressed she and many other staff members were with the behavior of my Art Club students,” Dentel said.“
“And through this opportunity, my Art Club students were able to build some meaningful and relevant life skills! They had so much to say about this experience, and although they were all totally exhausted from the hard work, it was very rewarding,” Dentel said.
“I really enjoyed my experience working with the little kids at Lincoln School because I learned what might go through their brains when a struggle gets in the way and how they might get through it. I loved seeing their bright smiles smiling back at me when they were finally done with their artwork. Having this experience helped me become better with little children, even though I had to use a lot of my patience. I would definitely love to do this again. . . ” said NHS sophomore Sarah Howell.
“This experience truly defined the quote, “Don’t judge someone until you walk a mile in their shoes.” Students tend to think a teacher’s job is tedious and repetitive, and quite simple. I learned that I was completely and utterly WRONG!” said Brianna Serrano, an NHS ninth grader.
‘I loved working with the kids and I liked to see what different ideas the kids have and hear the funny stories that go with them,” said NHS junior Grant Howard.
“. . . This experience did help shed some light on what I want to do when I get older! I learned to have patience and I learned about what a teacher really does, which is not doing the work for them,” said Jovany Jimenez, an NHS sophomore.
Joyce said Lincoln School kids loved working with the NHS Art Club students. “It was a wonderful experience for everyone,” she said.
Paytton Bierly, a student in her Pre-K class said, "It was awesome working with the High School kids! I loved to learn how to paint!"
Nayelee Pesanta, also one of Joyce’s students said, "I liked the drawing and how we worked with the paint. I got it all over! The High School friends were so nice to me!"
Bradyn Tack, a student in Katy Beck’s Kindergarten class said, "My high school teachers were my soccer coaches! I liked gluing all of the paper all over. I made a hauler truck with a trailer on the back. My coaches want to be my coach again next year!"
“We were looking for a way to continue to offer this fundraising project for many years to come and now that we’ve linked with our friends from the High School, I think it will be possible,’’ Joyce said.
Dentel agreed.
She also thanked Lincoln Principal Jeff Hamelinck for the pizza lunch for her students and Joyce, for providing them with ice cream and cookies.
Joyce said families will be able to begin ordering their child's original artwork “on hundreds of useful products to be cherished for years to come” on Nov. 8.
The deadline for orders is Nov. 20. She said the school expects to receive the products on or around Dec. 13, just before the holidays.
“The money earned from these orders will go directly to our Lincoln School PTA to benefit the students in our school,’’ Joyce said.