Discovering the Power of Story: Monte del Sol

As the El Otro Lado in the Schools program enters spring semester, our teaching artists, teachers, and students are preparing for our 3rd annual community celebration, De Dónde Somos.  We hope you will join us on Friday, April 21, from 5-7:30pm!

Everyone comes to the classroom with their own stories and teachers, teaching artists, and young minds deepen their understanding of themselves and explore their sense of belonging through creative expression. We asked each of this years’ teaching pairs to reflect on the EOL experience; their words were shared with students, families, and the school community. Now we would like to share them with you:

“What a creative spring! We’re already starting to prepare for our big celebration on April 21st, from 5pm to 7pm. We hope you can join us! We’ll be joining all the other EOL classes to honor the great work your student has done this year. We’ll have music, food, families, and amazing art!

We began the new year in January by creating prayer flags with our wishes for ourselves, our families, our community, and the world. We strung all the flags together and Anne brought them along to Washington D.C. so we all could participate in the Women’s March together!

In February, we started work on our big project for this spring: a giant, 4-foot by 30-foot mural that will be installed on the wall in the courtyard outside our classroom. We created a landscape of our New Mexico home, and included wetlands with dragonflies being made by each student in Sculpey clay. The dragonflies represent the individuality of each student, and they’ll be attached to the mural to connect us individually to our greater community and environment. The mural also includes a quote for each class (B Block and C Block), selected by the students through discussion and a vote. The quote sums up their best feelings about community and how we can connect with one another. The quotes will be painted into the mural in the clouds above our landscape.

The mural project is a big undertaking. So far, we’ve made the drawing of the landscape, enlarged it onto four panels, and have almost finished painting in the landscape scene. We’ve created the individual dragonflies, and the next step will be to finish painting the background, then glue the dragonflies in place all around the landscape. The four panels will be displayed at our community celebration along with the prayer flags and the amazing protest posters we created last fall.

We’ll keep you posted about the big party, and we can’t wait to show you the finished mural! Thanks again for all you do.

Anne Russell and Liz Tidrick”