The Agassiz Baldwin Community hosted its 2nd annual Play Day on Saturday, June 16.
The main event was the dedication of Fort Agassiz, which is the new play structure in their back yard. It was a fun day for children and adults, full of balloons, bocce games, hands-on art demonstrations, big blocks, and raffle prizes.
What is most notable about this event is seeing how hard our community schools work to be an important part of the fabric of our neighborhoods.
As Mary Holbrow reported last week in her article on "Budget Issues for Community Schools" (http://www.cctvcambridge.org/CommunitySchools), there is a rich history of community involvement in our councils. It's more than just about after school programs for our kids (needless to say, a huge resource for Cambridge parents), it's also about helping our aging population learn to grow old gracefully at home, and teaching our teens to work, and bringing out the hidden artist in our selves.
Fort Agassiz, the star of Play Day, is important. Not because it is another play structure in the city.
When we talk about after school programs, a big worry is usually about our middle school grades. Do they have a place to go? Are there activities that keep them engaged?
Sixth, seventh, and eight grader students met during the February and April school vacation week and, with the help of an architect/artist teacher, they designed a play structure for the yard. (See the model in the photo above.)
Then, they oversaw the construction of the project. They called it, "by kids for kids."
Here's how their dream, first a paper model, became a reality in three short months:
Wendy Prellwitz, the project teacher/architect and Agassiz Baldwin Community board member, tells us about the project:
And here are some of the students:
And here are some of the adults:
(photos by Susana Segat)