The school that art saved
Bridgeport, Conn. — Second-grader Yadeliz Santiago is joyously mashing black magic marker into a mound of white putty. She’s shaping the gray mass to depict a stage in the life cycle of a ladybug.
Her class at the pre-K-8 Roosevelt School here has already watched a real ladybug start as an egg, go through the larvae and pupae stages, and emerge as an adult insect in a small transparent container. The students have created pictures on their iPads. And today their teacher, Lucille McFarland-Overby, is stealthily watching to see what they’ve learned.
There’s no test in sight. Just a classroom abuzz with children giving each other tips and admiring the models they’re creating. As she circulates, Ms. McFarland-Overby gleans how much new vocabulary they are using and how accurately they describe the life cycle. Some hypothesize about the insects’ behavior – one boy notes they lay eggs under leaves to protect them from other animals.