It’s A Renaissance Thing!
July 2nd, 2015
I have the pleasure of being a part of the Renaissance Community School Of The Arts Enrichment Program team! I have the freedom to create lessons and worksheets that I then makes samples for and then implement from kindergarten to third grade. I recall back at Skyway Elementary School there was an after-school program where we did art and I remember vaguely an artsy guy helping facilitate it. I got to explore art freely and be the ¨kewl¨ kid for a change…then the program got cancelled. I feel now I get the chance to be that guy for some kids! I enjoy being where the need is in the community and serving that need, not much else has fulfilled me more!
Meeting the need
Most, if not ALL the work I get is through Gallery X, this was no different. The City of New Bedford’s FIRST female Poet Laureate (and Gallery X Treasurer), Patricia Gomes recommended I go meet the need. She set up my meeting with the Educational Outreach Director, Cathryn Lonsdale, then I started the next week! Dealing with young children was something I had to learn on the job, ¨trial by fire¨ kinda thing! I had no time to mentally prepare, but that wouldn’t have helped. Add being an inner city school and some challenges are magnified. I didn’t want money to be the reason why I didn’t go so I saw the ‘need’ was real so I was down for the cause. The staff, lead by Jennifer, helped me hone my class control skills and figure out my teaching style…which I’m still diligently working on!
My hat is off to ALL who are in the Education field as a teacher (and hands-on administration)! I’m not with these children as long as the teachers but I see what challenges they face on a daily basis with them. Behavioral issues, autism spectrum or a kid having a bad day will test the character of any willing to step up to the plate. Thank goodness these kids are at the age where the creativity of art can still captivate them into a moderate silence. I feel I’m being tested and prepared for something…no clue yet but that’s how the Luck Game works! You just need to be prepared when opportunity knocks. If i stay on the pot or sleep on it, opportunity will knock and move on…damn that! I try to strong arm, seduce and entrap opportunity so it cant help but swing by.
The reward for working at the school has been far more amazing than the trials! There is something MAGICAL that happens when a child’s behavior changes for the positive due to art OR when they give me their creations out of appreciation. The BEST is really when, on their own time, the make something just for me! WOW!!! The out pour of appreciation from them is a regular occurrence in my world! Some days I get mobbed with hugs from a class walking by in the halls or a high pitched scream of ¨Mr. Fitz!!!¨ It’s a relief from being around adults who can be jaded or scared to express gratitude when they feel it. I just show up and they are ready to jump into something creative.
I don’t wanna grow up
Free to be me
I’m likely the biggest kid among these youngsters. I jump around in excitement, make funny faces and voices because that’s what I do, definitely not for the attention! I can see how they thrive off of my energy, I see it in their little innocent eyes and their young minds are SO open to being creatively filled. I’ve been very fortunate to have things fall into place where I didn’t really see a way. I realize the future is not mine to fret and worry over. As long as I continually prepare the Universe can throw what it may…I’m READY!!! This experience is a straight up blessing! No disguises here…the REALLY LOVE me…and I LOVE them! I’m SURE this is where a chunk of my love for the City comes from…I see a bright future!
;o) Fitz #TheBlackBobRoss #FastFoodArtist