September 19, 2014
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Hoxsie students help adorn WaterFire festival trees
COOPERATIVE CREATION: Hoxsie School fifth graders Macenzie Bryant and Elizabeth Benoit work on their ornament.

“Quality not quantity,” were the words art teacher Kim Markarian used in urging Hoxsie School fifth and sixth graders to be creative and careful in making Christmas tree ornaments, the best of which will adorn trees at the WaterFire Festival of Trees. The trees will be given to families who otherwise would not be able to afford them.

“Work in pairs or threes,” she said. “Think of using different materials and coming up with designs.”

The students didn’t need much encouragement. They had gained their inspiration from ornaments on display in the case outside the all-purpose room and were ready.

Styrofoam balls – ideal for snowmen – were among the first to go from Markarian’s array of materials that included beads, packing popcorn, cotton, feathers, sequins and a few plastic eyes.

And in case inspiration was lagging, Markarian also provided a few cutout stars and butterflies that the kids could decorate. But inspiration wasn’t lacking. Some students even brought in their own materials, including a plastic water bottle – to be transformed into a snowman – and clothespins that would become reindeer.

And quite by accident, fifth graders joined in a cooperative project Friday as their class came to an end and sixth graders prepared to file into the room.

In the scramble of the change in classes, someone knocked over the dish of beads. They rattled across the floor. There were shrieks of excitement as kids fell to their knees to scoop them up.

Markarian took it all in stride. By the time sixth graders filed in, it was like nothing had happened. (Text and photos by John Howell)


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