Van Gogh. Matisse. Cezanne. O'Keeffe. Mention these names to any Lower School second grader and any one of them can converse at length about the artists' work, technique, and style. In fact, second grade students spend the entire year learning about art, creating their own art, and traveling to visit museums such as The Met in New York City.
The culmination of all of their work during the year is celebrated at the "Children's Impressions" gallery opening, held at the Rusty Flack Art Gallery in the Kirby Center for Creative Arts on the Upper School campus. Each student chooses their favorite artist to emulate, creates his or her own painting, and displays it at the opening. This was the twenty-seventh year of the second grade art show, and 32 young artists displayed their work.
Watch the video below to see the highlights of "Children's Impressions!"
by Grace Leahy '17
Preparing for SEMDM '17
It seemed as if everything was stacked against us for SEMDM '17. The event was scheduled a full four weeks earlier than last year, fundraising was put on hold because of spring break, and then further delayed by snow days. All of these factors effected planning, and we didn't even meet the Miracle Families until a week before the event.
Despite these setbacks, this year’s SEMDM committee was incredibly optimistic, which probably explains the ambitious goal of $20,000. We knew that even if we didn't hit our objective, we would be making a difference in our local community. Student Government divided into our usual committees and, for the first year, gained the help of dedicated students outside of Government. The overall level of commitment this year was incredible - I’ve never seen such wide participation. Student and faculty participation in the Snow Challenge raised over $800. Individuals as well as groups (societies, teams, clubs) ended up making enough posters to cover all the walls of the Big Gym. Some of us even rallied to be on Leckey Live at 4 a.m., where Molly Leahy '19 taught Ryan to grapevine to the music, and Andrew Schukraft and his mother spoke about their experiences at Janet Weis, our closest Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. On the day of, to top it all off, we had record signups online, record attendance, and a record $26,630, which meant we could ultimately fund the creation of an outdoor play deck for the Janet Weis pediatric unit of the Geisinger hospital in Wilkes-Barre. It also meant pure joy for everyone involved.
My fourth and final DM absolutely had the most positive atmosphere. Everyone got out to do the Morale Dance, everyone clapped along when Emma sang “What Does the Fox Say,” everyone screamed their lungs out when Kimmie won the crazy rock-paper-scissors game, and everyone stood in awe as Kay told us that she had been released from a visit to the hospital only a few days earlier. To see our Miracles Kids and their families having such a great time was rewarding enough, even without the grand total being what it was. Every single effort this year truly was #FTK.
Watch the SEMDM '17 video by senior Matthew Bean:
by Lauren Anderson '17
Over spring break, I had the incredible opportunity to make my first trip abroad with Mrs. Burg, Ms. Pigou, and ten of my peers. Saying this year’s French exchange trip was “great” would be quite the understatement. The trip broadened my horizons in ways I had not experienced before - I was completely immersed in a new lifestyle, acquainted with a host family I had never met, expected to use a second language, and the best part, brought to places I’d never thought I’d see. We visited London for the first couple of days and then took a train (my first train!) to Brittany, France where we stayed with host families for a week. I would be remiss if I didn’t admit how nervous I was at first. I questioned whether I would be able to communicate completely in French and pondered whether my correspondent and I would get along. My worries quickly subsided when I was greeted with kisses and hugs and quickly brought home for dinner. My host family took me in as their own - just like that. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to go the entire night without speaking a word of English. The language immersion built my confidence and proved to me that after five years of studying it I am more than capable of speaking French. My conversations with my host family helped me become acquainted with French culture as well as challenged me to look at global dilemmas from a different perspective.
In Brittany, the group explored the mysterious stones at Carnac, took in the beauty of the Côte Sauvage, went “sand yachting” as French naval pilots soared over the beach, and took a baking class. I also visited stunning villages along the coast such as Rochefort-en-Terre and Concarneau with my host family. Sidenote: the food I had with them was hands down the best I’ve ever had! These are just a few of the experiences. One night, a few Sem students and their correspondents participated in a spirited, very competitive game of laser tag. We called our match the “Troisième Guerre Mondiale” or the “Third World War.” The French team won, but we won’t publicly admit that! I couldn’t help but admire how quickly friendships had formed. By the time the end of our stay rolled around, I found it very difficult to say goodbye, especially to my host family.
The following day, the thirteen of us visited the Mont Saint-Michel which is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. The group explored the historic abbey that rests on the top of the island and made certain to stop at a cafe for sweet treats - we always made time for food! That night, we spent the night in Caen which was a key region for freeing France from German control following D-Day. For the remaining time in Normandy, we visited the D-Day Memorials - something every American should do if given the chance. The group learned of the courage, valor, and sacrifice of the men and women who gave everything for the freedoms we enjoy today. Standing on Omaha Beach will remain one of my most emotional experiences. Visiting these sites also taught me of a lasting admiration the French have for the American forces that helped liberate the country from German control. Omaha and Utah Beaches, Pointe du Hoc, and the American Cemetery were declared American soil by the French in the sixties.For the remaining two days, we visited and toured Paris. From our visit to Montmartre, the highest point in the city and a historic art center, to climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, I couldn’t help but to marvel at everything with child-like enthusiasm. It was incredible to see all of the world-renowned symbols in person. On the final night, we all enjoyed a beautiful French meal and walked to see the Eiffel Tower in the dark of night. The sight was unreal. As we watched the tower glow, a full moon floated next to it as a gentleman played Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” on the accordion - a typical Parisian evening as shown in the movies! I could not have thought of a better way to conclude such an incredible experience.
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