More than 100 seventh-grade students at Woodstock Middle School recently participated in Rainforest Art Link, an award-winning program offered by Creative Connections, a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster cultural literacy on a global scale. The program partners classrooms in the United States with similar classes (age and grade level) in the heart of the Guatemalan or Brazilian rainforests. Partner classes create and exchange art. Students then examine the art, gaining new understanding into the connections between human needs, culture, and the environment.
The program was led by 7th grade teacher, Kyra Litschauer, who was impressed with the students’ creativity; “Students used a variety of mediums to depict highlights of their lives. Their artwork portrayed a variety of subjects including the Woodstock Fair, sporting events, farms, animals, academic achievements, and family vacations. It was inspiring to watch them share these personal stories with children in a different corner of the globe.”
The program culminated in a live video conference with classrooms at Woodstock Middle School and partner schools in Brazil and Guatemala. Students shared music, art, and their interests. Gabby, one of Mrs. Litschauer’s students, especially enjoyed the experience: “It was really fun and interesting to talk to kids we’d never get to talk to. We viewed their art and saw that they used different things than we did. The kids from Brazil were very happy to hear and see us. They live in the Amazon Rainforest and had never used the internet. They had to take a 6-hour boat ride to get to the location to videoconference with us.”
The Rainforest Art Link program was made possible by a grant funded by the Woodstock Education Foundation (WEF), a non-profit corporation dedicated to the enrichment of the public school experience for children in Woodstock. To learn more, visit woodstockeducationfoundation.org.