I’m lucky to have two friends named Sally. One Sally is my dear friend who writes here. The other Sally is a woman I’ve known for 25 years. We were young mothers around the same time. Her oldest and my 4th child were the same age. I’ll be referring to this Sally in this post.
Sally and I had common friends. The four of us often went to a movie, had lunch, met at the park. We bonded through raising our preschool children. Sally’s education was Recreational Therapy which I thought sounded so cool. Before children, she worked in a prison providing recreational therapy to inmates.
Over the years as our friends moved away, Sally and I were the kind of friends who were always excited to see each other. We could always pick up where we left off and have a great conversation. We continued to have friends in common, but our paths began to cross less often. We were both involved with raising families.
In recent years, Sally has pursued her dream and has opened her own art studio in her home. It’s an attic space with a skylight and tables for students. She teaches children and teens in her home. She also teaches at a facility for patients suffering from dementia. Her passion for bringing happiness through art is beautiful.
I was driving down the freeway on my way to work a few weeks ago when it occurred to me that my enrichment group of 16 first graders might enjoy celebrating their author study of Eric Carle with an art experience. I knew I would need help. I began to think of staff members who might help me, but our staff is stretched pretty thin. Then, I thought of Sally!
Tomorrow is the day she is coming to guide my students in creating pictures in the style of Eric Carle! On Monday, we painted our papers. It took me back to my student teaching days in first grade when my cooperating teacher had an easel set up in her classroom because she believed so strongly that children should have the opportunity to paint as often as possible.
My students were amazing with their use of color and in using a variety of tools to create textures and patterns. Joey is a wiggly, talkative baseball fan who often needs some redirection to stay on task. With a paintbrush in hand, he had the focus of a surgeon. You really see a different side of children when they are free to create. Happy chatter filled the room as color filled the paper. I painted too and felt something reawaken in myself that had been dormant for a time.
I wonder what they will create tomorrow!