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Queens Chronicle

Queens students learn through art

Exhibit created entirely by school children unveiled at Citi Building

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Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:12 am, Thu Dec 5, 2013.

For one day, children from all over the city got to be little Picassos, Monets and Freida Kahlose as part of the Learning through an Expanded Arts Program’s 12th Annual Student Art Exhibition on Nov. 20.

Student artists from PS 307 and PS 19 in Corona and PS 21 in Flushing as well as five other schools from the other boroughs gathered in the Citigroup Building Atrium in Long Island City and were presented with an honorary certificate and a milk-and-cookies reception.

The students are all participants in LEAP’s Active Learning Leads to Literacy program and SummerQuest program which use the arts to teach academics and address summer learning loss.

“This show demonstrates how much children can learn when taught in an arts-infused manner,” said Ila Gross, co-founder and executive director of LEAP. “LEAP’s program strategies use the varied learning styles of students to captivate, engage and effectively impact academic knowledge and skills.”

Through watercolor paintings, murals, graphic novels, sculptures and original books, students strengthened all core subjects including building their vocabulary, reading comprehension, grammatical skills, math skills and biology.

The pieces will stay up in the atrium through December.

“I am so proud of our students,” Gross said. “They have developed a command of the core subjects while creating beautiful artwork in the process.”

This is not the first major children’s art show LEAP has organized.

The group, founded in 1977, had schools from around the city paint on cafeteria table sin the summer to encourage students to discuss social issues that affect the entire world.

Children from each participating school voted on an issue they felt was important to them.

The subjects ranged from gun control — specifically gun safety in school — to the importance of protecting our rainforests and oceans.

Then, with the help of a teaching artist, the classes designed and painted their murals on the tabletops as a metaphor for “coming to the table” to talk about serious issues.”

In comparison, these particular works of art focus more on the subjects and materials the children will need to know in the classroom and for standardized tests.

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