CPES Celebrates Art

April 13, 2022

Along with the CPES PTA, our community celebrated the culmination of a PBL that began at Cunningham Park years ago – before world events forced a pause in ‘normal.’ 

When our current fourth graders were in first grade, they proposed turning a winding sidewalk that leads from the school to the playground into a gigantic gameboard!  Students also submitted design ideas for consideration by the PTA – and the PTA approved funding for the project.

This was a part of a school-wide Project-Based Learning (PBL) initiative, in which every grade level created plans to improve the play spaces at CPES. Partnering with the PTA, we set up authentic purpose for students to investigate, research, and apply what they learned to make their world an even better place to be.

When Ms. Singletary joined us as our new art teacher in 2019, she learned about the PBL and the students’ proposals for the sidewalk. The expertise she had in public artworks was perfect to implement the 1st graders’ proposal.

Then… the world changed for a while, and priorities shifted along with it. The PTA agreed to hold all funds that were not yet spent on the PBL and reallocate them to be a safety net for an unpredictable two years. Two years for which there was no way to estimate costs for continuous school pivots, Our priority was to ensure students’ needs were met no matter what happened.

Time passed, and the PBL was not forgotten. This fall, under Ms. Singletary's artistic leadership, the PTA returned funding reserves back to their original goal and a wonky but plain sidewalk was transformed into a gameboard work of art!

To celebrate, the PTA brought treats from Nothing Bundt Cakes, music for dancing, and students ‘patched up’ the mural with sidewalk chalk. It seems even Mother Nature was thrilled, as she gave us a break from rain and cloudy skies for the event.

We thank our amazing parents for your ongoing support of students, for a PBL that wouldn’t quit, and for a little corner of the world made even more beautiful through authentic learning experiences put forth by inspired teachers, and amazing students!