Fifth graders at P.S. 97s efforts to encourage reading are truly larger than life. With the help of Citizens Committee of New York City, TD Bank, and art teacher Lisa Angel, the students were enabled to design and create oversized replicas of their favorite childrens books characters, allowing them to beautify their school, and Seuss-ify their main office.
Our goal is to inspire, and make our school a more welcoming place, said Angel, who has been teaching art for 24 years. It also allows our fifth graders to make a mark on their elementary school.
However, this was more than just an arts and crafts project.
The project accomplishes two main goals: it makes the school a better place, and teaches the students the importance of giving back, said Principal Kristine Mustillo.
The students couldnt have been more excited about the project.
We gained an appreciation for beauty, said fifth grader Sharon Ren, and respect for our school, added classmate Marina Chen.
When I was younger, and I saw the fifth graders doing it [the paintings], I was always so jealous! I couldnt wait to get my chance, said fifth grader Celia Fung. The art represents us when we leave the school.
This is P.S. 97s fourth project collaborating with Citizens Committee, and their first with TD Bank.
Citizens Committee knows all the grass-roots movements around the community. We know all about the people who are really rolling up their sleeves and making a difference, said Saleen Shah of Citizens Committee.
We really want to be part of the educational fabric of our community, said Diana Glassman, head of TD Bank Environment.
We only have one world, and we need to take care of it, and each other, said Peter Meyer, market president for TD Bank to a group of attentive fifth graders.
Angel, who was beaming the entire afternoon, couldnt have been prouder of her pupils.
This project allows the students to feel really good about themselves, and that opens the door for everything else, said Angel.