WESTPORT, Conn. – For 15 children on spring vacation, the Westport Historical Society was the place to be as they celebrated history, art and Earth Day.
Over three days this week, children ages 5 to 11 gathered to learn about the environment and how to reuse recyclable materials. The workshop, called “Save the Planet, I Just Got Here,” is the newest from the society’s Education Director, Elizabeth DeVoll.
“I never do the same program twice,” DeVoll said. “I have a lot of repeat’s so I try to mix it up.”
For this program, she wanted focus on teaching the kids what they can do with recyclables as well as including the history of the town in art projects.
The children have made bottle cap bouquets, rain sticks and mosaic pots; planted seeds in the pots; and used household cleaning bottles to make endangered animals.
Tessa Cassell, 8, of Westport, said one of her favorite activities was making the bottle cap bouquet, which she gave to her mother as an early Mother's Day present.
“My favorite part is making the animals,” said 7-year-old Scarlet Gerber. “I like endangered animals. I like helping them.”
For the endangered animals project, DeVoll said they had to come to the workshop with an endangered animal in mind so that they could share a little bit of information about them.
Among the animals created were a banana lemur, poison frogs, giraffes, whales and elephants.
“I didn’t make an example,” DeVoll said, she wanted each child to come up with their own idea instead of just copying hers. She added that when she was studying art and education, she was told that making an example might stifle the creativity and imagination of the child. “And we’re all about imagination.”
“I keep it to 15 kids per workshop,” DeVoll said, because the space in the Historical Society building can get a little tight with more.