By: Carole Storro
Did you know that AES has a secret garden? Last spring with the generous help of Jeremy and Amy DeLisle along with the Antrim 4H Club and the AES fourth graders, our garden was weeded and pruned – a gift that the fourth graders gave back to the school before moving on to GBS. There is still more work to do to revive our special garden into the place it was designed to be by AES educators. Micky Johnson, Sharon Otterson and Kathy Stacy, former educators at AES, had a vision for this outdoor space in the center of our school. They co-wrote a three year grant that included a quilting artist, a painted mural and a garden project. The stunning artworks are still on display in the entrance where AES and the Antrim Recreation Department share a space. With the dedication of the AES staff as well as many community members and businesses they created a lovely secret garden filled with flowers, trees, benches, artwork, painted rocks and a walking bridge. This has been a place for the school community to gather for lunch, drawing activities, science exploring, snack breaks, building fairy houses collaborative learning and enjoying a peaceful view from the classroom windows that face the garden. It has needed some TLC and with continued support from our wonderful PTO we are giving our garden what it needs to thrive. In addition to painting more colorful rocks in our Eagle Groups last year, and planting some new bulbs, local artists, Lisa Hennessy and Arlene Soule, have been collaborating with me, Carole Storro, Muzart Educator at AES, to create a work of art to hang in our garden to give the garden color year round. Last week we began teaching all of the students at AES how to make a mosaic work of art with glass tiles. The image will be of an eagle in flight and will consist of three panels. The students were so excited to work with the materials! After a demonstration by Lisa, they each set to work to carefully select colors and shapes to add to the work of art. Now that each student knows how to use the materials, they will have an opportunity to teach their families at our Literacy Night on December 6th. The eagle mosaic will be one of the many stations for families to visit and participate in along with an annual book fair to raise money for special projects and trips throughout the school year to extend our teaching & learning.
Other events that the mosaic will be available to work on as a community will be Winterfest in February 2018 and our AES Annual Spring Festival in May 2018. We hope to have these panels completed to present to the school in June of 2018 as a way to give back to the school and teach the students about the impact of gifting a legacy to the place where they spend so many of their days as children. They will be able to come back as young adults and older to visit and see their collaborative work of art on exhibit for years to come.