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Elementary students take a LeAp into the arts

Children from six city public schools in the Bronx and Manhattan gathered in Long Island City to exhibit their art. Photo courtesy LeAp
TimesLedger Newspapers

To commemorate their 11th annual student art exhibit, Learning through an Expanded Arts Program held a “milk and cookies” reception at the Citigroup Building in Long Island City earlier this month.

The display consisted of six cases filled with different varieties of artwork and three large murals all completed by students. The student artists ranged from kindergarten to third-grade and were from six city public schools in the Bronx and Manhattan.

Some of the work on display included papier-mâché, photography and creative writing. In one of the projects included, the students explored the alphabet in an innovative manner. The students formed their bodies into letters while their fellow classmate took a picture. They also created silly sentences to add a creative writing aspect to the project.

“We are immensely proud of the achievements of our students, both artistic and academic,” said LeAp Executive Director lla Lane Gross. “This exhibition is a testament to their talent and creativity and the effort of LeAp’s teaching artists and the classroom teachers they worked with.”

Each year LeAp holds this exhibit to showcase student artist achievements. LeAp is a program that uses different variations of art to engage students in activities to make comprehending an academic curriculum fun.

LeAp was created in 1977 when, due to budget cuts, art teachers were being marginalized and city school art programs were in disarray. Co-founders Lane Gross and Alice Krieger, who are both artists and educators, decided to initiate an art program in four schools. By enlisting the resources of artists and prestigious organizations through the city, LeAp grew to expand to each borough.

The students worked on these projects throughout the 2011-12 school year and summer vacation. The work will be on display until next year. The students were proud of their artistic accomplishments and were all smiles.

“My favorite thing about working with our LeAp teaching artist is that she teaches us how to be creative,” said Bridgette Love, a second-grader at PS 315 The Lab School, in the Bronx.

For more information, visit leapnyc.org.

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