3rd Grade visit at Kirkbride School

I had the pleasure of visiting a 3rd grade at Kirkbride School in South Philadelphia in my capacity as MCPL and ArtWell teacher (www.theartwell.org). These students, through a service learning project with Need in Deed (www.needindeed.org) were learning about poverty and hunger in our community.



My hope was to help them explore their questions and understandings about these challenges.  Poetry is a great vehicle, regardless of skill level in writing. Many did not speak English as a primary language. No matter, after reading a sample poem, students wrote their own “Helping Hand” poems. Some relied on line starters to help ideas flow. Others let us adults take notes while they spoke their poems. This class was decompressing from many recent hours of state-mandated testing. Now there were no right answers and no time deadlines. They could think, feel and create. They traced their hands to “feel the metaphor”.

It’s never a surprise to see how caring and compassionate children are as they confront life’s challenges. Here are samples of their writing:

What is your story?
I learned that you don’t have food.
I hope you don’t feel pain.

˜ * ˜

I ask, could I learn more about you?
I learn about your life.
I learned that we can help stop poverty.
I hope you feel better.
I hope we can be friends.

˜ * ˜

My hand can help give art to poverty.
I lift my hand with kindness and happiness.
I lift my hand in hope.

After class (still percolating and creating) I left behind brightly colored journals for all, hoping that they will continue drawing and writing. Much thanks to Janet Chance, from Need in Deed and Sara Caselle, their wonderful teacher.