Today I visited Bell Top Elementary School in East Greenbush, NY, my first school visit of the 2005-06 year. What a way to begin!
I could tell it was going to be a good visit as soon as I walked in the door. The entrance was lined with Absolutely Not-inspired artwork, full of hidden pictures and optical illusions. The students at Bell Top are extremely talented, and they get a lot of encouragement from their art teacher, Ms. Ostwald. (It just so happens that many years ago – I won’t say how many – Ms. Ostwald was a teacher of mine as well.)
Everywhere I went, the halls were lined with artwork and projects. One of my favorites was this wall covered in welcome cards for me. Very impressive!
The presentations went great, and in between I had a chance to enjoy lunch (one of the best I’ve ever enjoyed at a school visit) with the faculty and find out what they’re up to. One teacher, Mrs. Nahal, has been raising silkworm moths in her first grade classroom, growing them from caterpillars. They spin silk cocoons, and never fly away because they’ve been domesticated. Don’t ask me how.
All in all a great day, and my heartfelt thanks go out to Mrs. Martin, the librarian, for all her hard work putting everything together. I can’t imagine how much time she and the other volunteers must have spent, but it was absolutely worth it. Thanks Bell Top!