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smART! Camps 2023

By July 24, 2023No Comments

We had the privilege of providing smART! camps again this year to foster and adoptive families during the month of June, and it was a success!

Our first camp was painting, and the week started off with guest artist Kristi Kristenek who showed the students how to incorporate movement into their art. The students enjoyed poured paintings with Kristenek as well and created beautiful, relaxing art pieces. The week continued with artist and teacher Maisie Alford and a traditional CMYK pallet. Students learned color mixing and values as they created 3D appearing disco balls and other works including pixelated paintings.

The second camp was creative writing taught by Crystal Burdis. During creative writing students focused on descriptive writing, story elements, and the power of words. Children’s author Paul Bullock came and shared poetry and readings with the students while emphasizing description and sensory details. The week ended with readings for the parents of either the children’s stories or their blackout/found poetry. For some, writing was a challenge, but students were met on their levels and skills were sharpened.

During the second week of smART! camps, students were introduced to and worked with clay. The week began with demonstrations by teacher Maisie Alford, and the students then replicated their favorite toy with air dry clay. Local clay artist Andrew Carrizales joined the class to demonstrate throwing clay on a pottery wheel which the students enjoyed thoroughly. From the slippery clay flowing through their fingers to building a wall and a practicing with the wheel, students’ giggles and awe could be heard down the halls. The week finished up with soft sculptures from pipe cleaners and the parent
show-and-tell where students described their art.

The second week of camp also included theater, and our students were excited! We began the week with firefighter and theater dad Abimael Morales and his actress daughter Selah with whom the students learned to build basic theater walls using plywood. The kids were supervised while using power tools, nails, screws, glue, and staples to build their multi-use back walls which will be used for future classes as well. The walls were given a base coat of white, and then we designed short set walls to give our audience a strong effect. The students did the painting with the help of Maisie Alford, and
those not painting were working on blocking and rehearsing. Each day students practiced, planned, and worked with teacher Crystal Burdis to create a fun play for the end of the week. The play “Onion Boy” was presented to families and friends, and the kids were simply amazing! From costumes and props to characters and lighting cues, the kids learned so much during our theater camp.

The best part of smART! camps is always the children’s smiles and pride when they get to show their parents, foster families, and guardians what they have accomplished. Returning camper Aces Allison- Fielding enjoyed painting and sculpture and was invited to join us for theater camp as well. His forever family just completed his adoption June 2nd, so seeing that relationship grow was an enormous source of joy for the teachers. Next year we hope to add at least one of the two siblings from the Allison- Fielding family. While speaking to Mommy Tara and to Mom Casey about camps, the two new moms had nothing but good things to say. Aces shared during end-of-week presentations that his favorite part of camp was everything!