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Our Discovery AfterSchool Instructors share stories from their classes in this guest blog series Discovery AfterSchool Stories. For more information on our AfterSchool Program, please visit – http://wesleyan.edu/greenstreet/youth/afterschool.html.

By: Peter Van Siclen


The Green Street African drumming ensemble has been learning a lot this semester. At our Student Showcase, they will wish family and friends a relaxing summer by performing the Liberian folksong “Take Time in Life”.

In addition to djembes, bells and rattles, students will also play saxophone, piano and sing!

Lovette JohnsonOn Saturday, May 14th ,  long-time artistic collaborators, Jocelyn Pleasant and Lovette Caesar-Johnson will provide an exciting program of African drumming and dancing at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center from 11:00a.m.-12:00p.m.   This FREE community workshop will draw upon the rich rhythms and celebratory songs of West African cultures.  It’s a family-oriented program that will be both entertaining, informative and energizing for young and old.   Come dance with us as the drum beats speak!

Also,  before or after our community dance workshop on May 14th, stop in to chat with us about our upcoming fall AfterSchool program.  We will be holding an open registration day for the Green Street Discovery AfterSchool program on that same day from 10:30a.m.-1:00p.m.  During our fall AfterSchool program, we’ll be offering a wide assortment of arts and science classes on Monday through Friday for children in grades 1-5, as well as, an inspiring Friday offering for middle school students, WesleyanBound.  This unique class provides a fun, valuable opportunity for students in grades 6-8 to gain exposure to the college experience through weekly treks to Wesleyan’s campus in order to meet student leaders and faculty, to tour art exhibits, science labs and sports facilities, and to visit college classes and performances. Our classes will fill quickly, so be sure to bring your $25 deposit to ensure your child’s fall class choices.

Our Discovery AfterSchool Instructors share stories from their classes in this guest blog series Discovery AfterSchool Stories. For more information on our AfterSchool Program, please visit – http://wesleyan.edu/greenstreet/youth/afterschool.html.


By: Danielle Schmitt


For the last month, students in the Introduction to Photoshop course have been learning how to use the Shape tool in Photoshop. They have learned how to make geometric and organic shapes, how to change the size of the shape, how to rotate it, as well as how to change its style or color. Students first practiced using the shape tool and changing the styles.

Computer work

After they learned the basics of manipulating the shape tool, they were given a basic cityscape to manipulate by adding or subtracting buildings, adding additional symbols, and bringing images in from our previous digital collage project.



Computer art


Finally, students were asked to imagine an alien family and to put them in a background of their choosing. Students used their previous skills of using the shape tool to create an alien. With teacher assistance, they were able to copy more than one alien into the same picture. They then chose a background off the internet to add to their composition. Students put their aliens in places like outer space, a backyard pool, even a dance club!




Computer screen




Green Street 042916Visit FroyoWorld on Main Street in Middletown on Friday, April 29th between 5:00-8:00pm to help support Green Street! 20% of all sales will be donated to Green Street to support our youth programs.
Our Discovery AfterSchool Program serves primarily children in Grades 1-5 from all corners of Middletown, many from our neighborhood here in the North End. We also have a unique middle school class offering on Fridays called Wesleyan Bound where students are exposed to a college campus. They get to participate in workshops with student leaders, talk to professors, tour galleries and laboratories, and more.
It is never to early to start thinking about registration for Fall 2016 classes!  We will be opening registration in late May so stay tuned for more information or call us  (860-685-7871) to be put on a notification list and we’ll let you know when registration is open.

HOT Schools – Internship positions available

Connecticut Office of the Arts Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools™ in partnership with Wesleyan’s Green Street Center for Teaching and Learning is offering two internships to Wesleyan University or Middlesex Community College Students.

This is a unique opportunity for organized, tech savvy individuals interested in the elements of planning, developing, implementing and coordinating particular aspects of the HOT Schools program including the HOT Schools Summer Institute (SI). The SI is an intensive interactive arts education experience for 200 plus artists, teachers, administrators and parents engaged in school culture change through strong arts, arts integration, and democratic practice. For more information about the HOT Schools Program visit www.higherorderthinkingschools.org

To apply: Please send a resume and letter of interest to hotschools@wesleyan.edu by April 15th, 2016.

Arts in Education (AE) Conference Planning Interns

Duration: The AE Conference Planning Interns will work from May 31 – July 21, 2016

Description: Participating in event design, planning and implementation
• Research and compile relevant resources
• Assisting in creation of promotional materials
• Managing multiple data systems (school reports and plans, on-line registrations and surveys, etc.)
• Organizing materials and supplies for presenters
• Networking with educators, artists and presenters
• General clerical duties (copying, filing, assembling materials, etc.)

Qualifications: The candidate for this position should be a self-starter with strong writing skills, be proficient in using excel and Google docs and have general clerical skills. The position requires flexibility, strong interpersonal skills and an interest in working collaboratively. Drivers license and access to a vehicle preferred.

Payment: $10.00 per hour
May 31 – June 17 at 20 hours a week
June 20 – July 21 at 40 hours a week

Connecticut River Hartford #1_mixed media on birch wood_30x22 inches_2015

Connecticut River Hartford #1_mixed media on birch wood_30x22 inches_2015

In conjunction with the Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts’ second annual Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter, an environmental-arts festival to be held on May 7th on Middletown’s riverfront, Dr. Deborah A. Simmons, Ed. D. will show her latest mixed media work in A River Runs at Green Street Teaching and Learning Center.  The exhibit will open with a reception on Thursday, April 28th from 5:30-7:30p.m.  Simmons, an accomplished visual artist and a professor in Manchester Community College’s music studies program demonstrates her profound appreciation and reverence for the river’s beauty, history and environmental impact via intriguing mixed media works wherein she manipulates enlarged Xeroxed sections of navigational charts of the Connecticut River.  While the river, itself has inspired Simmons’ own curiosity about its history and aboriginal inhabitants, the resulting artworks provoke a sense of enchantment and wonder in the viewer— for these mysterious waterway locations of long ago.  A River Runs will be on view through June 1st.

The gallery at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 9a.m. to 3p.m.

Our Discovery AfterSchool Instructors share stories from their classes in this guest blog series Discovery AfterSchool Stories. For more information on our AfterSchool Program, please visit – http://wesleyan.edu/greenstreet/youth/afterschool.html.


By: Danielle Schmitt

Children’s Literature Edition produced these colorful and vibrant chalk pastel drawings. These works were produced in tandem with the book Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner.  Students listened to the story and afterwards were asked to create what their snowman would do at night. Students used chalk pastels on black and blue construction paper to create vivid depictions of snowmen drinking ice cold cocoa and sledding down a hill.  Some students also attempted to show a definitive light and shadow source in their work. All students also learned how to preserve their chalk pastel drawings with hair spray to prevent the chalk from coming off their work.
Snowman1 Snowman2 Snowman3 Snowman4 Snowman5
These works are currently on display on the first floor hallway at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center.

AfterSchoolBelieve it or not, it’s that time of year when we begin the process of creating the Fall 2016 schedule of classes for the Green Street AfterSchool program.  We are asking that everyoneeven our current staff of teaching artists, send in proposals for consideration.  This means that if you are currently teaching any class during the AfterSchool program (even long-established classes), you must make your interest known via our online survey in order to potentially continue teaching your current class (or, in order to propose any new ideas for classes).

Please submit your class proposal(s) in our on-line survey.

Please note that the Fall 2016 AfterSchool session runs from Sept. 12- Dec. 9, 2016.  Teachers will also be expected to attend a 2.5 hour-long staff orientation with a pizza lunch prior to the program’s start.   That training program will likely run from that training program will likely run from 11:30am- 2:00pm. on Sat., Sept. 10th.   Teachers are also required to attend the semester’s culminating evening Solstice performance on Friday, Dec.9, 2016, as well as to participate in any needed rehearsals earlier that week.

Green Street serves about 80 students per year through our AfterSchool Program. We are looking for class proposals in music, visual art, culture, languages, movement, nutrition, media, other arts disciplines, environment, science, and math. We would be particularly pleased to hear your ideas for classes that integrate art, math, and science in a fun, enriching, hands-on way that children may not be exposed to during their traditional school day experience.

AfterSchool classes are primarily offered for children in grades 1-5.   As of fall 2015, the only AfterSchool class that is offered for 6th-8th graders is our Wesleyan Bound class which occurs on Fridays from 3:15-5:15pm). The classes for elementary-age children meet once per week and are one hour-long (4:15-5:15p.m., Monday-Friday). We also offer a homework help time from 5:15-5:45p.m. on Monday through Thursday for children in grades 1-5 only.  Teaching one of these elementary level classes involves 1.5 hours of commitment per class including prep time.   Leading the WesleyanBound class for middle school students involves 2.5 hours of commitment per class including prep time.  Teaching any of our classes requires conversations with teaching assistants, staff meetings, at least one blog submission per semester, and also requires attendance at the evening Solstice performance (Dec. 9th) and at the Solstice rehearsals (during the week prior to the December 9th performance).

Community artists, educators, and Wesleyan students are eligible to submit a class proposal. Please understand that classes are contingent on student enrollment.  Compensation is in-line with experience. Work study students are encouraged to apply.  However, unlike working as a teaching assistant or as a homework tutor during the AfterSchool program, Wesleyan students should know that you are not required be a work-study student in order to receive payment for teaching an AfterSchool class.   The deadline for submitting class proposals is Wednesday, March 16, 2016.  Individuals are welcome to submit proposals for more than one class, although we would ask you to complete a separate on-line survey for each class proposal that you wish to submit.  We will notify applicants of chosen class proposals and have a finalized schedule of classes ready approximately sometime in late May.



AfterSchoolPlease join us for the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center Registration Day and Open House on Friday, January 22nd from 12:00-5:00PM.

This will be an opportunity for parents to come in and ask questions, tour the facility, and learn more about Green Street and the Discovery AfterSchool and Wesleyan Bound programs.


Discovery AfterSchool (Grades 1-5)Every year, the Discovery AfterSchool Program at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center offers a range of classes in the arts, sciences, and math for children in Grades 1- 5. http://www.wesleyan.edu/greenstreet/youth/afterschoolclasses.html

Our AfterSchool team is made up of our core education staff, professional instructors, and Wesleyan University Students who serve as instructors, teaching assistants, and homework tutors. We pride ourselves in being able to offer such a diverse group of role models with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise to the children in the program.

The Program is flexible for busy schedules. Children can be sent for five days a week or for one specific class of interest once a week. They can also be signed up for homework time where we have college student tutors available to get them started with their homework for the day.

Classes Offered

Grades 3-5: African Drumming, Art and Math – 3D Art, Art and Science, Art Around the World, Beginning Ballet, Beginning Tap Dance, Improv Comedy, Intermediate Hip Hop, Science of Food, Musical Mentoring, Simply Stylin’ Fashion Design, and much more.

The cost of each class is $150 and each day of homework help is $75 for the fall semester. To calculate the total cost, you multiply those fees by the total number of days the child will attend. Financial assistance and payment plans are available for free and reduced lunch families and those who otherwise qualify. We don’t want to keep any child away from these opportunities so if you think our classes would be beneficial, talk to us about how we can help.

Wesleyan Bound (Grades 6-8)

Wesleyan Bound is a unique after school class for middle school students (Grades 6-8) based at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center in Middletown, CT. http://www.wesleyan.edu/greenstreet/youth/AfterSchool%20Wesleyan%20Bound%20.html

The class exposes middle school students to the holistic college experience – so much more than academics and admission tours. Each week, students visit the Wesleyan University campus for a wide range of activities like workshops with students groups, talks with professors, tours of science laboratories, and guided visits of art galleries.

The class is co-taught by two Wesleyan University students who coordinate a wide range of activities for the middle schoolers. Past activities have including a step dance workshop with the WeStep student club, baking cupcakes at a student program house (a residential option at Wesleyan where students with similar interests can live together), digging up artifacts at an anthropology site, meeting with the rugby team, touring the theater department behind the scenes, and so much more.

Wesleyan Bound will take place on Friday afternoons this spring from January 29th – May 6th with a student showcase on the last day. Students arrive at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center around 3:00pm for a 3:15pm class time.

The class is shuttled to the Wesleyan University campus for their activities and brought back to Green Street for a 5:15pm dismissal. Parents are responsible for pick up.

The cost of the class is $300 for the fall semester. Financial assistance is available for free and reduced lunch families.

Do these programs sound like something your child would enjoy? If so, please join us on Friday or Saturday!

Our Discovery AfterSchool Instructors share stories from their classes in this guest blog series Discovery AfterSchool Stories. For more information on our AfterSchool Program, please visit – http://wesleyan.edu/greenstreet/youth/afterschool.html. Spring registration is open!


By: Emily Furnival


After a semester of being astronomers, designing spaceships, learning about planets, and looking for extraterrestrial (alien) life, Science Club ended the year with a project a little closer to home. We built two chairs out of nothing but newspaper and tape!

First, we had to learn about the shapes that would allow us to build stable chairs. We tested different ways of folding paper by seeing how many books each shape could hold up. We found out that the best shapes were circular columns and, surprisingly, triangles, because the weight was distributed better in those two shapes. We learned that “trusses,” triangles stuck together to make rectangles, could hold up many books.

And then we were off! Two teams made chairs, each using rolled up newspapers as “columns.” One engineering team focused on columns, while the other focused on triangles.

While making the chairs, the engineers often stopped to test their structures, first with books and then with bodies. They learned how to reinforce weak points and evenly distribute weight. It took two classes, but both chairs were finished, able to hold even the teaching artist and assistant! The chairs were then decorated, and will be available for viewing (and possibly even sitting!) during Solstice.

sciencezakai scienceowen

sciencejordyn Scienceavianna



For more science fun, check out the Science of Food Class this spring for Grades 3-5 on Thursdays. There’s also our Art and Science Classes which will focus on rivers this spring.




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