A summer afternoon at Bastian Elementary School revealed a wonderful exhibition of paintings and other works of art, as well as a musical performance of songs by Pre-K and Kindergarten students who were wrapping up a four-week summer fine arts camp. The camp, which was based around the four themes of community, transportation, healthy eating, and friendship/fairness, was in response to an initiative from Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan to include the fine arts in summer school.
Students from Bastian, Young, and Alcott elementaries, which do not have fine arts during the regular school year, participated in the camp. HISD Fine Arts Curriculum Specialists Rickey Polidore and Damian Price wrote the curriculum for the program.
“Fine arts camps like these give HISD Pre-K and Kindergarten students a fine arts foundation that they will remember,” said Polidore. He stressed the importance of the arts in building foundation literacy skills in the youngest of learners. Students now have essential skills that will follow them on their educational journey.
The camp was attended by parents and guardians. “They have a blast when they come here,” said Barbara Ronding, a grandmother of one of the students. “They’re not out in the streets—they’re learning and having fun.”
Teachers Laurie Ebarb and Maria Garza led the summer class.