The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 10, 2013

Fine Arts snowmen brighten Halls of Gateway Elementary School in Conneaut

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — Snowmen don’t always have to have a carrot nose and wear a scarf. The snowmen now decorating Gateway Elementary School can be fashioned from fabric or newsprint or resemble a chessboard.

Students in the many Fine Arts programs offered at Gateway recently were challenged by Amy Gallagher, an intervention specialist at the school, to create snowmen that best represent the activity they’re enjoying this nine-week grading period. Several of the classes responded, and the inventive results are on display outside several classrooms in the building.

The snowmen depict the wide range of activities that are part of the program, ranging from sewing and board games to mime instruction and the school newspaper and yearbook. Students in the origami class assembled their snowman solely from cubes made from folded paper.

“Everyone’s been very creative,” Gallagher said.

She got the idea from a similar contest sponsored by Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce and UH Conneaut Medical Center that put plywood snowmen along downtown Main Street. The students’ work will be judged soon and prizes awarded the top winners, Gallagher said.

Gateway’s Fine Arts activities, which occupy about a half-hour at the end of selected school days, give students a chance to experience pursuits they may not normally discover, such as Spanish instruction or drill team. The activities are conducted by staff who appreciate the opportunity to share their special hobbies with young people.

The Fine Arts classes are a big hit with students — administrators have said attendance is higher on the days the activities are held.