The gardens at two Port Chester elementary schools now have a permanent display of color with the unveiling of ceramic mosaics by students in an after-school project led by the Clay Art Center.
At the Park Avenue School, students shaped free-form tiles, patty-cake style, for installation around the edge of a raised bed that had fallen into disuse. “It was just a big bed of weeds,” said Kathy Sutherland, who directs the OASIS after-school program, funded by the state Education Department through a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. Now there are flowers surrounded by tiles that represent things that help them grow: birds, butterflies, ladybugs, raindrops, and here and there, a heart.
At the John F. Kennedy Magnet School, mosaics representing the seasons were installed on brick walls in the courtyard, where a vegetable and flower garden has been flourishing.
Children took to gardening enthusiastically when they were given flowers to plant. “You would think I was handing out candies,” Sutherland said. Three-year-old Paulina Sanchez, in the photo above, was one of the children getting a look at the mosaic this afternoon.