Sami Dulam ‘21, shares her creativity with the community.

This summer 25 students were accepted in the CSGC grants program. These grants are funded due to the generous support of the Cost, Earle/Mendillo and Workman families, who established endowment funds to support the community and public service endeavors of future generations of Deerfield students. For more information on these grants please visit: https://deerfield.edu/csgc/grants

This summer, I ran a virtual arts camp offering dance, poetry, and studio art for young children in my hometown. Although I had initially planned to have the arts camp at a local dance studio, I was unable to hold classes the way I had traditionally planned due to the current circumstances. However, virtual classes allowed for some of my cousins as well as some of my hometown’s students’ cousins and friends to join the classes from across the country.

As many of these children’s summer activities had been cancelled due to COVID-19, the virtual arts camp gave these kids an outlet to use their energy as well as a much-needed break for parents. All three art forms fostered the children’s creativity and thinking skills. COVID-19 had not permitted these children to get the physical exercise that all people need, but specifically the virtual dance class granted the kids an opportunity to stay active while being at home. By the end of the camp, all of the kids had created their own dance routines and performed them for the class!

During the stationary art forms of poetry and studio art, we began our first few classes focusing on smaller techniques and then worked our way to larger projects. For example, in poetry, we began with imagery and brainstorming processes to engage the students and allow their ideas to flow more freely. By the end of the camp, we were writing full poems of different types such as haikus, acrostic poems, and free verse poems! In studio art, we began the first few classes drawing shapes, and then our final few classes concentrated on drawing and painting an image of nature.

 

One of my students showing her work of brainstorming words and drafting her haiku during one of our poetry classes.

With generous support from the Earle family, the Mendillo family, and the Center for Service and Global Citizenship (CSGC), I was able to buy canvases, paints, pencils, pens, and notebooks for all of the children to experiment and learn. This grant also covered some of the funds of shipping some of the arts supplies to people’s houses due to social distancing and not being able to give these supplies in-person. All of the kids loved the camp so much that they want to do it again next summer! Through these children’s kindness, curiosity to understand, and genuine joy for learning, I have gained as much from them as they have from the lessons. Most importantly, I hope that these kids, many of whom have not been greatly exposed to these subjects, have found a newfound love for the arts. I hope they continue to engage with these art forms and many more in the coming years of their education and throughout their lives.

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