Third graders at Westchester Elementary created a hut for a homeless person using wood, hammers, nails, and a few other special tools. The hut will be donated to the Mad Housers organization and will be given to a person in need of shelter. The students built the hut, created care packages, blankets, and art featuring words of motivation after reading about the difficulties that people have faced with finding adequate shelter in the past and now during their spring expedition, Shelter in America: Then and Now. Students were also given the opportunity to connect their bodies with the struggles that Native Americans faced when their shelter was taken from them during the building of America and the need for housing that people in America face now by working with dance artist, Ericka Shannon. Ericka Shannon’s work with the third graders was funded by the Zara Yee Hawthorne Arts Infusion grant in association with the Decatur Education Foundation. The students worked with Ms. Shannon to create scripts, movements, and designs to connect with the expedition’s big ideas and inspire others to “embrace all.”
First Graders at Westchester Elementary have created an interactive chalkboard that shares obstacles they have overcome. Their Spring Expedition is called "Their Story, Our Story, My Story." After learning about the obstacles many historical heroes have, they learned about the obstacles teachers and heroes in their community faced. Then they reflected about obstacles they have, seen and unseen, that might keep them from being at their best. They learned that through positive character traits they can turn their problems into possibilities. The public interactive chalkboard will be on display for one and a half weeks on the corner of Church St. and Sycamore St. It's purpose is to bring the Decatur community together to connect as humans through "our story" of overcoming. Please drop by between April 30th and May 10th to share an obstacle you have overcome.