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Chenoa was a Middlesex Community College intern last semester and we asked her to share some of her experience with us. It has been wonderful watching her grow and learn more about working with kids in our Discovery AfterSchool Program. Here is her second guest blog.

If you’re interested in signing your child up for Discovery AfterSchool classes, our fall semester registration is open and we have many fun classes in art, math, and science. Classes start the week of September 12, 2016. Call us to set up an appointment or fill out the application materials online and send in to us.

Learning From Others

At Green Street. I was assigned to three different classes based on my interests in music and art – African Drumming with Mr. Peter, 3D Art and Math with Ms. Renee and Sing From the Heart with Ms. Liz. What I learned from working with these instructors will help me work better with children and also with people in general in any service field.

PatienceAfrican Drumming is a popular, inherently loud, class hosting a wide range of students with differing interests, abilities, and energy levels. Mr. Peter, had a huge amount of patience. No matter how long it would take, Mr. Peter would wait until every single person was paying attention. He would also ask me for my input, which was awesome because I got to help create a positive learning environment and it boosted my own confidence.

Confidence – In 3D Art and Math, I would watch the different projects the kids were working on like working popsicle stick Ferris wheels or cereal box castles. Sometimes I’d try to help a student who wanted Ms. Renee to help them instead of me. Ms. Renee would tell them that if I was trying to help them, that I deserved the same respect they gave to her. That boosted my own confidence and also helped set the stage for how I could assist the kids with future projects.

Fairness Sing From the Heart was on Fridays and we all know the end of the week is tough as we wait for the weekend. Ms. Liz was really good at creating a fair classroom. What I mean by this is that if there were kids who weren’t listening, they wouldn’t get to have the things that they wanted (like solos). But those who were behaving did get those prized parts. This taught the kids that they can’t always get everything that they want, and I think that’s an important lesson to learn. It also helped them learn to work as a group so everyone could succeed. Some students who wanted to sing felt inhibited because they didn’t have the confidence like the popular kids to perform in front of everybody. If I noticed this during a class, Ms. Liz and I as a team, would try to boost the child’s confidence and eventually they had their moment where everybody clapped for them.

By working with these teaching artists, I was able to build my patience, confidence, creativity, and also my ability of being able to judge what was fair for the situation at hand. These additions to my professional tool belt will help me on my journey of helping others. Most importantly, I think that the kids learned some of these things too and that is a reminder that we have things to learn from every experience, if we look for them.

B_Klingher_LilyDuring the month of August, the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center of Wesleyan University will be displaying the work of Connecticut teaching artist, Beth Klingher.

After spending ten years teaching math in New Haven public schools, Klingher continues to work as a teaching artist in schools throughout Connecticut where she is known for exploring the connections between math and art.  Her exhibit at Green Street, Art in Pieces, highlights her mosaic art.  Each of her imaginative mosaic constructions is a symphony of visual and tactile materials–  glass, ceramic, stone, and pottery.  This lively exhibit of abstract geometric designs, stunning undulating landscapes and playful patterns of color is a joyful concert for the eye that is not to be missed.

Klingher’s  Art in Pieces  will be on view from August 4- 24th with an opening reception on August 4th from 5-7p.m.  The  gallery’s summer hours are Monday through Thursday from 9a.m.- 5p.m. and Fridays from 9a.m.- noon.

Chenoa was a Middlesex Community College intern last semester and we asked her to share some of her experience with us. It has been wonderful watching her grow and learn more about working with kids in our Discovery AfterSchool Program. Here is her first guest blog.

If you’re interested in signing your child up for Discovery AfterSchool classes, our fall semester registration is open and we have many fun classes in art, math, and science. Classes start the week of September 12, 2016. Call us to set up an appointment or fill out the application materials online and send in to us.

A Change in Perspective

Before starting my internship at the Green Street Discovery AfterSchool Program, the only experience I’d had with kids working at Russell Library in the Children’s Section. My attitude towards kids was usually one of standing in the background and observing. I was never the disciplinary type because I didn’t have confidence in my abilities to play that role. I also don’t remember a lot about my childhood. Because of this, I had a really hard time relating to kids. I wasn’t able to remember what it was like in certain grades or when I was even their age. I felt like kids would pick up that and realize I didn’t know what it was like to be in their shoes.


For the first week as a new teaching assistant, I stayed on the perimeter of the group to observe. When the kids would act up every now and then, I would say something like, “Guys, are you listening to what the teacher just said?” I had to go out of my comfort zone of normally being an introvert to having to be more assertive. I quickly realized, that this technique of being on the perimeter and trying to be assertive from the outside was not effective. So after watching a few “how to get children to listen to you” videos via YouTube, I realized that a huge reason as to why the kids weren’t listening to me was because I was not on their level – literally.

So, I became a part of the class, participating in activities with the kids. And the kids started listening to me. I used consistency, persistence, and also assertiveness so the kids knew that I deserved the same amount of respect that they gave other authority figures. And they knew I would respect them too.

I became a friendly face, and ear, they could confide in. Every now and then there would be a kid who was normally well behaved but for some reason, didn’t want to participate. I would pull them aside and by simply listening to them talk about what had happened that day helped. I would listen and would ask a few questions to build rapport with the kids. I wanted them to know that they could confide in me and that if they didn’t want to confide in me at the moment, I was ready to listen to them if that changed. Through listening to what some of the kids told me, I started to put the pieces together as to how the kids deal with things in school or how it effected their day.

Once I started participating and listening, my empathy towards these kids grew. I started to understand why kids acted certain ways and also what things I could do to help them feel better and get back on track in class. My impression now is that, while there are some kids who are going to act out due to issues at home or in school, there are a lot of kids who just want someone to talk to where they can be themselves. I went from having a more cautious view of kids, to tearing up on the last day of the program. At the Solstice Performance, I saw each one of the kids I had worked with go on stage and really shine. These kids grew on me. And for once in my life, I finally started to feel, and maybe even remember, what its like to be a kid again.

Check out the completed calendar of Science Safety workshops for the 2016/2017 school year.   We will be hosting a new workshop in August for custodial maintenance, so save the date.2016-17 CSSN calendar Draft Final

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.

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