Tag Archives: LeAp

Queens students create art to tackle issues of abuse and teen pregnancy


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of LeAp

Middle school students from Queens are taking a trip down New York City’s art circuit.

Walter Reed School in Maspeth and Robert E. Peary School in Glendale teamed up with a nonprofit art program to help students create an art exhibit that turns cafeteria benches into canvases with pictures of butterflies, the grim reaper and the words, “Be yourself. Stay above the influence” on them.

Students at Walter Reed presented their picture collage to an audience in Union Square on May 20 and on June 10 they will hold an exhibition at Juniper Park Valley. Students from Robert E. Peary School in Glendale will unveil their exhibit at the Evergreen Park on the same day.

The exhibits are meant to help students address problems in their communities that are important to them. These issues include substance abuse, teen pregnancy and dropping out of school and each table features pictures created by students from both schools.

“The students are the ones that brought these issues up,” said Jenny Castillo, an art teacher at the Walter Reed school. “These are issues they deal with on a daily basis.” The school worked with LeAp, a nonprofit organization that holds programs to educate students through art in New York City, to help the students create the art.

The art exhibits are part of LeAp’s larger citywide project to empower students in 10 schools on topics and issues that students come up with, according to LeAp’s Art Program Director Alexandra Leff.

“The idea is that students talk about these things around lunch time,” Leff said, explaining why cafeteria benches were chosen as the canvas. “It’s their moment to have a voice and talk about what’s important to them in a larger public space.”

“They live in neighborhoods where they’re around these problems all the time,” Castillo said.

The cafeteria benches will be on display for the whole summer and afterwards they will go on display in each school.

 

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Exhibit features art from three Queens schools


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Learning though an Expanded Arts Program (LeAp)

It’s never too young to become an artist.

A group of students from elementary schools all over the city, including three from Queens, won awards for their artwork displayed at this year’s Learning though an Expanded Arts Program (LeAp) Annual Art Exhibition.

The young artists were honored on November 20 for their works currently on display at the Citigroup Building atrium, located at One Court Square in Long Island City. The students, including children from P.S. 307 and P.S. 21 in Flushing, and P.S. 19 in Corona, received honorary certificates and indulged in a reception complete with milk and cookies.

The exhibition, which is hosted by Citi, features artworks from students in LeAp’s Active Learning Leads to Literacy (ALLL) program and LeaP’s SummerQuest program.

Students created watercolor paintings, murals, graphic novels, sculptures and original books for the exhibition. Through these pieces of work the children were able to concentrate on core subjects, like building up their reading comprehension and grammatical skills, acquiring new math skills and learning American History, new math skills, and plant and animal diversity.

LeAp is a nonprofit arts education organization focused on improving the quality of public education through a “unique, hands-on, arts-based approach to teaching core subjects.”

For the past 36 years, LeAp has helped more than two million students through the five boroughs, ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade, with music, dance, theater, film and visual arts incorporated into an academic curriculum.

“This show demonstrates how much children can learn when taught in an arts-infused manner,” said Ila Lane Gross, LeAp’s co-founder and executive director. “LeAp’s program strategies use the varied learning styles of students to captivate, engage and effectively impart academic knowledge and skills. I am so proud of our students. They have developed a command of the core subjects, while creating beautiful artwork in the process.”

LeAp’s 12th Annual Student Art Exhibition, which began in October, is running through January.

 

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Queens student expands creativity, mind through art program


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of LeAp

Brad Hughes discovered talents he never knew he had thanks to a nonprofit dedicated to improving curriculums through art.

“This [project] gave me a different perspective,” said the seventh grader at P.S. 75 in Ridgewood. “It’s helped expand my creativity and how I think of things.”

The project, organized by Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LeAp), required Hughes to work with his classmates to transform a cafeteria lunch table into a work of art. The 12-year-old’s class chose to use the medium to address the preservation of rainforests.

“Rainforests are important,” he said. “They give off oxygen. [But] people are cutting trees and killing off animals.”

Hughes worked with his peers to give an informative presentation through art – something he had never done before. He made animals out of origami and created a 3D experience for his audience. While he showcased his work at the school art show, he also answered questions about rainforests.

“I never really thought I could do it,” he said.

William Carillo, a teacher’s assistant in Hughes’ class, said seeing him cooperate with his classmates was a treat.

“It was a good experience just to see them working together,” he said. “[Hughes] is very good at following directions. He’s also good at taking his own initiative when he needs to.”

Carillo called Hughes a very good listener and a “very, very good kid.”

At P.S. 75, Hughes and the students receive specialized instruction based on behavioral needs. Outside of school, Hughes likes to ride his bike, play video games and go bowling. He said he plans on getting involved in more art programs in the future.

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