First Lady Barbara Bush has a lasting legacy in the hearts of Americans as being an advocate for volunteerism and a dedicated matriarch to her family. For the families of Bertha Alyce Early Childhood Center, of which 1/3 flooded, Mrs. Bush will be remembered for a more personal reason.
After flooding in Hurricane Harvey, so much was lost in the homes of families at Bertha Alyce. In March, the entire school community was delighted to learn that the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation was giving each Bertha Alyce student ages 0-4 a gift of six books for the child’s home library.
In September of 2012 I got what I thought was the worst news ever. My husband’s job was transferring him to a city I had barely heard of in "The South!" Yes, they were going to pack us up and drag me, and our then toddler, kicking and screaming (me louder than her) down to, of all places, Houston, TX! As a self-proclaimed city snob, I didn't even know there were big cities in the South, much less Jewish people. Everything I knew about Houston was based on stereotypes. I half expected to find cowboys riding horseback down Main Street. In a matter of months we packed up our comfy Chicago life, where we were surrounded by family and friends and headed to the wild, wild, west where we knew no one.
This week we opened the “Panda Art Museum” at the Bertha Alyce Early Childhood Center. Dozens of parents, grandparents and classmates attended. The museum showcases famous artists who pique the interest of four year old children which include Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Marc Chagall, David Garibaldi and Vincent Van Gogh. The artists represent different styles of art, exposing the children to different materials, vocabulary, creativity and Jewish values.
The project began as an “empty canvas project” meaning each week the canvas came out and the children applied texture and color. The canvas evolved through the twelve weeks and inspired the children to inquire and want more. The children not only experienced painting, but also collage, sculpture and engraving.
This project involved...