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The arts will come to life at Piscataquis Community Elementary School (PCES) on Friday, June 9th during a day that more than one student describes as “the best day of school ever.” Principal Anita Wright describes Arts Alive as “a day that clearly demonstrates why we have the word ‘community’ in our school name.”
The Arts Alive tradition dates back to 1982 when parents and staff from the then Abbie Fowler Elementary School in Sangerville decided to plan a day of “arts” for the students. The tradition has survived a number of changes in SAD 4, but remains community and volunteer based.
The Arts Alive Committee members pictured from left to right: Jade Grenier, Amy Kelley, Kerri Pulkkinen, Grace McGeehan, Melissa Stearns, Jane Daniels, Lindy Gokas and Janie Lander are planning the next Arts Alive Day on Friday, June 9th.
This year’s event is being planned by a committee of staff members and community volunteers and will continue to feature local artists sharing their talents and skills.
“It’s a day that involves over 300 students, the entire school staff, and over 100 community volunteers,” Principal Wright points out. “It’s one of the ‘big’ days at our school and lots of fun. The day also gives every student an opportunity to explore activities and projects that are diverse and different.”
Each student will participate in three different sessions presented by school staff, parent volunteers, and community members. The activities range from shaving crème art to drumming to karate.
Not only is the fun-filled day supported with volunteer help, local businesses and organizations provide financial support and donate many of the supplies needed. The sense of community at PCES becomes very visual during Arts Alive as all participants wear a tee-shirt with the Arts Alive logo. Tee-shirt colors this year are the school colors, blue and gold. This year’s logo was designed by sixth grader Abby Herrick, using the theme “Jump High Art Arts Alive.” Sixth graders also volunteer during the day and serve as guides helping Kindergarteners find their way to the workshops they’ve selected.
One volunteer summarizes the day as “amazing for its sheer magnitude and a clear demonstration of what a community can accomplish when we put our hands, hearts and heads to it. The amount of art and craft produced is huge, but what’s more amazing is the potential impact we have on our children’s lives and education.”