Yesterday (Thursday June 3, 2010), Stone Ave N between N 78th and N 80th Streets transformed into an outdoor art gallery as Daniel Bagley Elementary got its party mojo working for its annual “Art Walk”. The event showcases artwork from each class, from Kindergarten through fifth grade, while families graze on potluck goodies. (Read: parents eat the pasta salad while trying to convince the kids to take a side of cheesy cauliflower with their brownies.) Several teachers were spotted among the throngs.
The PTA recognized active members, held a raffle for a $250 gift certificate to Great Wolf Lodge, and sold Bagley tees. Parents were asked to vote on the PTA elections and budget, and ballots had run out before the evening did. On the kids’ part, between hitting the dessert table and nudging parents to buy more $2 raffle tickets, they took time to play four-square, basketball or kickball, improvise games with hula hoops, steal a chance to climb Bagley trees, or just do a cartwheel. (Sometimes you just have to.)
The kids apparently got a secret memo waiving the usual conventions, including “walk, don’t run,” “stay off the trees,” “stay where I can see you,” and so on, but there were enough parents around that the wagons were circled. Kids were seen getting into the spirit of the evening by pointing out their art –freely to each other, shyly to parents.
One happy holdover from the usual school day was the feeling of communion and respect between the age groups, helped perhaps by Bagley’s blended classrooms of mutilple grades. Far from shunning kids in a lower grade, fourth graders played with kindergarteners in the playground, sticking up for and defending the youngsters as needed. That’s pretty cool.