Hanawalt Celebrates A Day In The Arts

IMG_0317Hanawalt elementary students put away the books, limbered up and brought out the craft supplies.

Aliana Croft, 7, has been waiting for this day all year.

“It’s the most fun ever,” she said, with a wide grin.

Hanawalt celebrates “A Day in the Arts” once each year.

“This is the only day of the year when I don’t have to hand out any late passes,” an administrator said in the hallway.  “Everyone is on time!”

Local artists and parent-artists come in and teach for a day.  Students learn art, music and photography.  Today they’re taking 50 minute classes.  Among the instructors are a puppeteer, a mime, a finger-painting artist, a cartoonist and a dancer.

Parent and event co-chair Howard Tempero said the fifth-graders will learn hip-hop dancing and perform for the school at an assembly late in the day.

“They get their final spotlight before hip-hopping out of Hanawalt,” he joked.

Tempero and his wife have been heavily involved in A Day in the Arts for the past three years.  They have three children at Hanawalt and are among the dozens of parents who act as support staff as students are walked from room to room, children’s music playing through the intercom system.

They started preparing for this day in the fall.

“The PTO donated some of the $1,500 we needed,” Tempero said.  “The rest we raised by asking students to bring spare change on Fridays.”

Then it was a matter of finding artists willing to work for little to nothing to teach children about their craft.

“People were so generous with their time,” Tempero said.  “We offered to compensate them for gas and mileage and they refused to take our money.”

He said some of the artists brought their own supplies and left behind what they didn’t use so that students could continue to learn the craft.

Jahmya Cavil, 7, carefully glues a tinfoil roof onto her project.  She’s building a stick house as part of a multimedia workshop.

“It’s so fun,” Cavil said, hardly taking her eyes off the foot-tall creation.

Tempero smiled when people mentioned the fun.  He said he’s glad but hopes today is about more than just a good time.

“I hope they understand the power of creative thinking,” he said.  “I want them to understand that sometimes there is no right answer.  Art is learning and thinking in a different way.”

View Photos of Hanawalt’s “A Day in the Arts”

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