Lincoln Elementary School fifth-grade student Eric Yang works on the pine boughs on the window decorations at the school Dec. 5.

Lincoln Elementary School fifth-grade student Eric Yang works on the pine boughs on the window decorations at the school Dec. 5.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Making spirits bright at Lincoln

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 7, 2018

 Lincoln Elementary School fifth-grade student Javaire Malone enjoys creating the window decorations at school Dec. 5.

Lincoln Elementary School fifth-grade student Javaire Malone enjoys creating the window decorations at school Dec. 5.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

WARREN — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Lincoln Elementary School.

That’s because the fifth-grade special education students are spreading holiday cheer.

The 15 students, under the direction of art teacher Susan Kleintjes, have decorated the school’s front lobby windows by painting large Christmas bulbs on pine boughs. The budding artists also used their skills to paint a flurry of snowflakes on windows by the media center.

On the afternoon of Dec. 5, the class was back at it by adding more bulbs to the windows outside the front office. Lincoln is part of Van Dyke Public Schools.

“I have a new thing I want you to try,” Kleintjes told the students as they picked up their paintbrushes. “Try doing little swirls. It will make it look really cool. You guys are doing great.”

The students chose from orange, green, red, blue, yellow, pink, purple and white paint to create their window ornaments. To get a feel for the artwork, the fifth-graders spent a few minutes sketching their bulb designs prior to painting the windows.

While adorning the windows, the students applied a number of techniques they learned in art class, including the creation of lines, patterns, contours, stippling, blending and dry brush application. The students utilized water-based tempera paint by Crayola, and Kleintjes reminded them that painting on paper is different painting than on windows.

“I thought this would be a good vehicle for them. It’s been wonderful,” Kleintjes said. “This will help build their self-esteem.”

The special education students have art class once a week. The students’ classroom teacher is Lara Pellerito. Teaching assistant Brenda Hunt and paraprofessional Sandra Campbell also work with the kids.

“This is a great opportunity for them,” Pellerito said. “I think all the students are really enjoying the decorating. It really makes them feel important. It boosts their confidence as well.”

Because Javaire Malone is “very advanced” in art, Kleintjes said he participates in art class twice a week.

“I was drawing since I was 5,” said Malone. “It’s fun and it keeps me from being bored.”

Student Nicole Williams created two ornaments last week, including one of white, orange, yellow and red colors, and the second with shades of blue, purple and white.

“I really like creating my own design and making it colorful,” she said. “I just used my favorite colors.”

At home, Williams’ favorite parts of Christmas include “decorating the tree, opening presents and spending time with my family.”

“I feel happy about painting,” student Cormylah Gulley said. “It’s important for people to learn how to paint.”

Other students within the building, including student council president Kevin Bettie and vice president Amilliyon Crump, both fifth-graders, were impressed with the artwork.

Crump thought the snowflakes looked very soft and Christmas-like on the windows.

“I love it because it’s so creative,” Bettie said. “It reminds you of Christmas.”

Advertisement