School gets diocese award - Queens Chronicle: North/Northeast Queens News

School gets diocese award

Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019 10:30 am

The board of directors of St. Andrew Avellino Catholic Academy in Flushing is proud to announce the school’s music and art programs are the recipients of the Ambassadors Award for the Fine Arts by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. The award included a $100,000 grant to be shared by the programs.

Celebrating above are St. Andrew Avellino Catholic Academy Music Director Kimberly Larkin, left, Principal Debora Hanna and art teacher Susan DeLeon.

The programs began as an idea by a committee of school parents and parishioners more than twenty years ago, whose motivation was a cultural renaissance at the school. While the committee concentrated on fundraising, the Academy’s fledgling music program benefited from a collaboration with the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. The music program was quickly integrated into the educational curriculum for grades kindergarten to fifth. The all-inclusive afterschool programs include junior and senior chorus, band ensemble, percussion, strings and piano lessons. Students perform in two academy concerts each year. From the beginning, Larkin wanted the students to always be making music and be hands-on with the instruments. Today, the academy student chorus performs every year at Bayside Holiday Parade, Christmas tree and Chanukah candle lighting, and St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. It was also selected to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Citi Field in May 2017.

The school will use the grant funds to purchase new musical instruments for the students, an electric piano for the music room, new band instruments and an interactive flat screen for the music and computer rooms.

Under the direction of DeLeon, the arts program has been an enormous success with parents and students alike since the refurbished art room was opened 25 years ago. Since then, DeLeon has enhanced the program by creating an afterschool art club for grades five through eight that meets throughout the year, in addition to a successful evening adult program. Academy students have entered numerous art contests held at St. Francis Preparatory School and the McGoldrick Library. As current contest winners, fifth-grade students will display their artwork in the library for the next year. The annual Art Fair Exhibition is one of the most highly anticipated events at the academy enjoyed by students and the entire parish community. The academy has plans to use grant funds to redesign the art classroom with new tables for better student workflow, in addition to adding an interactive flat board and new innovative art supplies.