PS 316 Bright Spot


The first and second grade students at PS 316 in Brooklyn spent an exciting 18 weeks with CWP Teaching Artists Felipe Galindo and Phyllis Capello. During their time, the students studied poetry, visual arts, music, and much much more!

The breath of life, The spirit of life, The word of life, Goes out to you and you, and you: Always the word.

The Maori Chant The residency classes at PS 316 use the Maori Chant to open and close each workshop. They decided to create new ideas/words for the second line of the intro, The Spirit of Life, and substitute other words. They chose to do this to enliven the chant with new “spirit” and new 21st Century ideas. Students had to re-think old ideas and make them fresh and relevant to their own lives and their own culture. Everyone is very proud of this work because it’s a beautiful culmination of all the student’s process and their community enterprise, as every child had their voice/word/idea represented in this new version.

Students at PS 316  had the opportunity to play a handmade Appalachian Dulcimer, which was handmade for for Teaching Artist Phyllis Capello, as well as chimes to express their poetry through musical tones.

The Poem of Spring Spring feels like the wind in my arms. And, the sweet smell of tulips lingers in the air. And the peaceful trees wave in the air. So, as the birds fly in the sky The air is nice and crisp. – Christobel Rampersad

Sometimes I Feel Sometimes I feel as small as a goldfish Slippery as soap, Sometime I feel I am loud as a drum. -Jamear Adrasse


Poetry Trees The first and second grade students at PS 316 worked on uncovering the many themes in the works they studied, such as generosity, community, elegance, wonder, love, humor, nature. They made long lists of these Ideas & Feelings, which they used in learning how to write metaphors using their senses. i.e. Music is the road to a family party with dancing…” The students used the metaphors they created to make a “Poetry Tree”.

Intro to Jazz and Blues The students at PS 316 were introduced to jazz and blues music and asked to create a literary and artistic response to the music. The students created metaphors then illustrated them as part of a collective poem/art project. This is a way of teaching Critical Thinking (how to respond to different kinds of music), Literacy (how to write a metaphor or simile), Citizenship, (by creating a unified art project that adds to each other’s understanding of an art form), and Emotional Intelligence, (each child must find their own response to an idea or feeling). The students were all very passionate about their work on this project and the results are displayed at the school in the hallway for all of the PS 316 community to see.

Animal Poems The students at PS 316 created Animal Poems. They learned to use descriptive words, “Your golden talons sparkle against the midnight sky.”, similes “the cat was as furious as a storm!”, the folktale and oral tradition of telling stories “Did I tell you about…”, and how to resolve conflict between characters.

Designing the Cover of the Anthology Josiah created his haiku in visual form. The individual columns represent: Leaves, Water, Dirt, Earth, and Love. According to Jojo, “The Leaves are for the plants, The Water is for the homeless people, The Dirt is for the plants, The Earth is for the planet, The Love is for what’s inside your heart .” The TA’s were so taken with his work that it was used as the cover for the anthology. A copy of the painting was framed and given to Ms. Penny, who works in the office, and was a wonderful freind to this residency.

We are all very proud of all our first and second grade artists at PS 316!

CWP programming at PS 316 was made possible in part by The New York Community Trust.