Discovering the Power of Story

As the El Otro Lado in the Schools program enters spring semester, our teaching artists, teachers, and students are preparing for our 4th annual community celebration.  Here is a glimpse into what is unfolding in the 5th grade at Atalaya Elementary. We hope you will join us to witness the artwork and stories on Friday, April 20, 2018.

Our EOL Adventure (from the class of Ms. Abeyta):

It was an extraordinary day when we met Ashley, our teaching artist; she was nice and kind. We enjoyed writing personal letters to her and the extended chime. The beginning of our EOL (EL Otro Lado) adventure always started with a great check in question. Our most memorable ones are: “What was one thing you’ve never told anyone?”, “What is your most valuable possession?” and “What is one thing you want the world to know?” Through these questions we gained trust, which made us feel more comfortable to share.

We lived for the EOL experiences such as the “I am from Poems” where we shared tears of joy and happiness at Family Night. Our Tunnel books showed us that we were all a part of our parent’s lives. The Self Portraits allowed us to express ourselves through art and we were able to present the places and things we hold dear to our hearts. Our field trip to SITE Santa Fe was important because we got to spend time together and see new and amazing art. The Family Interviews and Touchstones were done with care because we allowed our stories, and their stories to be told.

Then there’s Philomena our second teaching artist who is creative, confident and tells us interesting stories. What we like most about her is that she isn’t afraid to do complicated art projects because she knows we can do them. In the end, we are grateful for our EOL adventure, which we’ll never forget. To all,our check-out question is….What was your favorite memory of EOL?

Our Side (from the class of Ms. Gebbia-Perez):

We are 5B at Atalaya. This year in EOL, we’ve experienced some changes, challenges, growth and celebrations. Through our circle sharing, we’ve become more confident, expressive, and understanding of ourselves and each other. We’ve become better listeners, met new parts of our own personalities, and made new, unexpected friends.

Through our major shifts with teaching artists (how lucky we were to have TWO great artists this year, Ashley and Philomena) and schedules, we learned firsthand how to be flexible, how change can be hard but full of opportunity. We’re learning how to be less self-critical, and to focus on giving our best effort to difficult challenges.

Through our projects, we’ve become more courageous and determined. We’ve found honesty in our art, worked together to offer and receive help when we need it, and learned to appreciate each other as we shared through our I Am From poems, tunnel books and self-portraits.