Over the past few years, P.S. 197 has had a successful violin after school program. Musicians are chosen while in pre-K and begin practicing in kindergarten continuing into first grade. The young violinists practice twice a week for an hour after school. Along with learning to play the violin, the students learn songs and music theory, making each practice a rich musical experience. The two year program concludes with a concert that showcases each musician’s talents, through a student selected solo performance for family and friends to enjoy.
This year, dance opportunities became available as an after school program. The goal of the program is for the dancers to experience the techniques, culture and creativity of dance through personal expression. Each class begins with a warm up that is a combination of flexibility exercises and aerobic activities. Following the warm up, the dancers participate in different exercises that encourage them to think about the ways in which their bodies can move (shapes we can make, feelings we can express, and contrasting movements we can show) all through dance. At the conclusion of each class, the dancers cool down with stretching and breathing exercises. As we expand this program, more opportunities will open up for more children to experience the art of dance.
Photography in the classroom enhances reading, writing, mathematics and science skills. While teaching students how to use a camera to capture a moment in time, students learn how to story tell with pictures and can write about the event.The students learn how to problem solve while using a camera and gain self-confidence while being in control of the camera. Learning how to operate a camera and create art is a gateway into other art forms including drawing, painting and architecture. The students at P.S. 197 study the photographs that they create and think about the details in every picture and what that image means to them. They share their photographs with peers and explore how photography can change how they look at the world.