I had a great time presenting The Community Circle Project at the Seekonk Public Library on April 28, thanks to funding from the Seekonk Cultural Council. Also, thank you to The Seekonk Reporter for featuring me and the project on the April cover.
Families and adults were invited to participate in two virtual evening sessions. We took time to reflect on kindness, talked about its meaning to each of us on a personal level and considered ways we could show kindness to ourselves as well as to others.
A few of the circles we made during the art engagement are included here above and below.
Penelope Drown, a visual arts teacher at Charter Oak International Academy in West Hartford, Conn., engaged her students in grades three to five to participate in The Community Circle Project. Her students cut out their circles, glued them to watercolor paper and added an orbital pattern inspired by artist Alma Woodsey Thomas. Here are some of their circles, which beautifully focus on positive mindset.
I am so excited to share that the Seekonk Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have awarded me a grant to facilitate The Community Circle Project at the invitation of host Seekonk Public Library in Massachusetts. The free virtual event will be on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. There will be two sessions, one for families and children at 5 p.m., and one for adults at 6:30 p.m.
The program will be held virtually via Zoom and is open to adults and families with children of all ages.
Participants in both sessions will engage in the relaxing project that I created that uses art making and conversation to build a sense of community. Using the simple shape of a circle and basic drawing supplies, we will create art that reflects our thoughts or feelings and shows us how we are connected to each other.
No art experience is necessary. Registration is required. Space is limited. All are welcome. I would love to see you there.
I am so thankful to the Seekonk Public Library for hosting this event and to the Seekonk Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for providing funding for the program. I want to especially thank Sharon Clarke (librarian, youth services) and Michelle Gario (senior librarian, adult services) for inviting me.
Dawn Louis-Jean, an art teacher at Ascend Leadership Academy in Sanford, N.C., teaches students in grades six through 12. At the start of the school year, she used The Community Circle Project as one of the first assignments.
“We are doing all virtual learning, so their whole lives have changed from last year. I wanted to let them talk about how Covid-19 has impacted and, perhaps, permanently changed their lives,” she said.
Students were given a supply list for the project and parents purchased supplies on their own. Fifty students created these amazing circles.
A big thank-you to Dawn and her students for sharing their thoughts through creativity.
Judy Hayes-Casey, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Miamisburg High School in Miamisburg, Ohio, teaches Career Prep, 10th grade, and Viking Prep, 9th grade. She reached out to share beautiful circles created by her students as well as a beautiful story:
“This year when we started in-person instruction we were asked to take the first three days of school to focus on the social emotional aspects of our students and not content. I participated in your Nasco “Maker Monday” presentation this past summer and immediately knew I wanted to start the year with your Community Circle Project.
“All of my classes participated in the project and they each made one circle giving us a grand total of around 110 circles. The prompt I used was simply, ‘What did you learn during The Covid Quarantine of 2020?’ I made a template and copied on card stock.
“I can’t tell you how much my students enjoyed this project. Many of them were so proud of their circles they took pictures to show their families. I also noticed them showing with their friends while pointing to their circles. But the best part of the project was listening to the kids talk about what they went through during quarantine and how their lives changed.
“Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful project with Nasco and allowing teachers across the country to share with their students as well.”
Don’t you just love this artwork and Judy’s imaginative way of photographing these? If you would like to participate or request a facilitation of this project, reach out to me using the contact form.
When students started school this fall since the mid-March break due to the pandemic, Anne Hoffman, a teacher at Wood Oaks Junior High, in Northbrook, Illinois, used The Community Circle Project to help build a sense of connection and unity among her sixth and eighth grade classes and beyond.
“I engaged students in a discussion about all the events that we have been experiencing and/or seeing in the news. It was quite a powerful experience for everyone to see it all as a whole, which at first was quite overwhelming. As we continued our discussion, however, we were able to see that there was indeed a lot of good that we could squeeze out from all of the crises. I was so impressed how each student gave such deep thought to what positive they could take away from what has been going on.”
Right before holiday break, Anne offered students the choice of two prompts that were perfect: “What does this upcoming holiday season mean to you?” “What is your hope/vision for the new year?”
Here are some of the wonderful results from all the prompts.