By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(May 21, 2020) The Town of Berlin created an art project with Buckingham Elementary School for children to show what activities they look forward to once the shelter in place order is fully lifted.
The project, called “What I Can’t Wait to Do” allows students from pre-K to fourth grade to draw activities or places they want to visit in the summer. Once enough drawings are collected, the pictures will be posted online at the Town of Berlin Facebook and Instagram pages.
“We reached out to art teacher Melissa Reid at Buckingham Elementary School and had her ask her students to draw a picture of what they couldn’t wait to do in Berlin when the shelter in place was lifted,” Economic & Community Development Director Ivy Wells said. “Those that have participated will have their drawings featured on social media next week.”
Wells said she and Reid created the project as a way for the children to remain positive.
“We wanted the kids to focus on something positive, [something] to look forward to,” she said. “We wanted them to express that through their art.”
Reid loved the idea and all of her students are invited to participate throughout the month of May.
“The Town of Berlin and Buckingham have done some sort of drawing contests in the past,” Reid said. “We’ve done some collaborations where Buckingham students will create different drawings based on different subjects. And then Ivy usually puts them physically on display in the windows of the Chamber of Commerce building. This is a little different, obviously, because we are doing distance learning.”
Reid videotaped herself providing an art lesson for her students to observe through the school’s online learning service called Schoology. She then encouraged students to send screenshots of their work to her to be used for the project.
“The response has been amazing,” she said. “Every week when I have the art lessons, students are always encouraged to upload a photograph of their artwork to this class. We got so many projects back … so many kids took photographs of their artwork and then uploaded them.”
As of earlier this week, Reid estimates she has received around 30 uploads and expects to receive more as the month progresses. The most common drawing has been of children enjoying ice cream from Island Creamery.
“Some drew Main Street Deli with their snow cones, another wants to visit World of Toys,” she said. “Then somebody else drew a picture of them riding their bikes at Stephen Decatur Park.”
Another piece was already uploaded to Facebook, which shows a young girl looking forward to visiting Robin Tomaselli, who owns Baked Dessert Café.
Reid looks forward to seeing more of her students’ works being displayed online. Due to the virus, no physical copies are being kept or displayed throughout the town.
“We’re always happy to partner with the town of Berlin because again, since Buckingham is right in the middle of Berlin, it’s nice that our kids understand that they are part of this larger community and that they’re that their voices are valued and that their artwork is valued,” Reid said. “What they’re interested in and the way they are connected with the community is something that the adults want to see and hear.”
The art work will be available starting next week on the town social media pages.