P.S. 304 showcases student art at open house

PS 304 student Sean O’Neill poses in front of his tribute to Van Gogh’s “The Stary Night.” - Photo by Patrick Rocchio

The budding artists of P.S. 304 now have a place to showcase their work to parents and guardians, thanks to an innovative program for most of the student body.

The enrichment endeavor at the school, which includes art, dance and movement, and a science program in the last 37.5 minutes of the school day, allow students that do not require tutoring under the DOE’s academic intervention program to thrive and stay on campus.

The art enrichment program taps the talents and hobbies of staff that give freely of their expertise to help the children learn more about the world in which they live.

The last open house of the year occurred on Tuesday, June 17, where students displayed the classroom doors, chairs and windows they painted in emulation of world famous artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.

“The enrichment programs began in October, and we have had three cycles with different groups of 30 to 35 children,” said PS 304 principal Joseph Noble. “There is lack of funding for a course in art, so what we did is ask our teachers who have hobbies in the arts to work with the children.”

Children painted several classroom doors in honor of artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, and Edvard Munch.

In addition, windows and chairs were painted in honor of sports teams and other themes of interest to young, elementary school students.

“The children replicated the work of world renowned artists. Tonight is just a conclusion of a lot of work on the part of our students,” said teacher Amy Labbate, who helped run the art fair and thanked Tremont Paint for assisting the school with donations for many of the supplies. 

Parents, who toured the school on June 17, were greatly impressed with the new program, which helps keeps children who do not need extra help in school and learning for the last 37.5 minutes of the day, as most of their teachers assist those students in need.

“It’s a great program. My daughters are in it, and they painted the chairs upstairs,” said parent John Brown. “We need more programs like this because the kids seem to love it.”

The fact that chairs, doors and windows all have art around them makes the school more colorful and provides a much nicer atmosphere, according to brown and several other parents in attendance, who feel the work of the students in art helps provide a positive outlet for their creativity.

“I think this is a fabulous enrichment program, and it is really needed,” parent Ann Marie Feretti noted. “My son is so far ahead in his academics, and an enrichment program like this benefits him greatly.”

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