SOUTH DAYTON – An instrumental petting zoo, making your own commercial or learning animation are not normal afterschool activities. Students and families in the Pine Valley school district got to participate in these activities during an annual event.
The second annual Creativity Night was held at the elementary school where students and families could go to various stations. Students and families enjoyed dance, painting, board games and a reader’s theater and poetry. Students were also able to create a short commercial “on location” from anywhere in the world, as well as learning 3-D animation. Students were also eligible to try out a musical instrument in the instrument petting zoo in the cafeteria. Members of the SUNY Fredonia music department brought instruments for students to try ranging from a tuba to drums to making instruments out of buckets and tin cans.
“(SUNY Fredonia) comes and volunteers to have musical experiences with us,” Elementary Principal Scott Burdick said.
The event was started last year in a way to showcase students’ projects as part of the Invention Convention and student artwork. In the past, school concerts held at the elementary school were an opportunity for student work to be displayed. Since the concerts were moved to the high school, Creativity Night was a chance to showcase work. The night is also a way for students to have some fun during state testing.
“It’s a great opportunity for kids to come and have fun during New York state assessments and enjoy the other aspects of school, especially music and art,” Burdick said.
One of the stations was an autism awareness sensory station that allowed visitors to see what it would be like to be autistic. The stations included putting nuts and bolts together while wearing gloves, smelling various foods, doing a matching game while wearing goggles covered with vaseline, tasting sour candy and listening to a movie through headphones. Each simulated how the five senses can be affected by autism and gave insight as to how children may learn.
Administrative Intern Sandra Schurz was involved with the planning of the program. She said the district is very “child oriented.” The event is to help open the children up to new experiences, she added.
One of the parents who attended was Jessamine Daly-Griffen with her daughter Willow, age 9. Daly-Griffen said the family attended last year’s event and attended again this year because of the fun they had.
“We’ve been looking forward to (Creativity Night) since last year’s program,” she said. “We had fun with the instruments last year.”
The event this year has grown over last year’s, according to Burdick. He said the first ever Creativity Night had only a few stations, including the instrumental petting zoo.
There are plans to hold the event next year at the elementary school, Burdick said.
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