CADY Arts Day encourages creative kids

Maija Anstine

Local first- through fifth-graders took part in the second annual CADY Arts, Music and Writing Day April 25. The 35 elementary students painted, played with food and investigated diamond robberies in rooms in the union, recreation center and Wriston.
The children, who came from 12 area elementary schools, rotated through five stations run by campus organizations. The stations focused on arts activities designed to capture the children’s imaginations.
Circle K took over the game room in the union, putting platters of paints on tables otherwise reserved for billiards so that youngsters could explore their artistic impulses. Claudia Smith, a 7-year-old, created a ladybug and noted that art was her favorite subject in school.
Volunteer Ken Weinlander explained how the kids created works reminiscent of the Australian aboriginal style with Q-tips and their fingertips, or with white crayons and watercolor paints. Weinlander said, “I think what CADY does is very worthwhile, so I’m willing to give my time.”
In the multipurpose room in the recreation center, Mortar Board gave children the opportunity to play with their food. Animal crackers, marshmallows and pretzels waited to be converted into imaginative structures by the younger kids, but the foods simply served as a snack for the older ones.
Third- through fifth-graders, who Wriston Art Collective volunteer Chris Dorn described as “on the cusp of being bored with everything,” opted for word puzzles and bingo, so the station served as a midday snack stop. Nine-year-old Julie Quinn was a bit more imaginative, playing her round of bingo with pretzel sticks.
Other activities offered included a robbery investigation run by the Lawrentian staff in which kids got to act as reporters to investigate an imaginary pink diamond missing from Avenue Jewelers.
Kappa Alpha Theta ran another station in the coffeehouse where kids played castanets to represent a bird, or a wood block to represent a leopard in an imaginative song describing jungle animals.
WAC ran another artistic station in the recreation center, showing students how to create subtractive art, a type of art in which tape is removed from a painting to create a design.
CADY’s previous career exploration days for students have been well received. “After one CADY day, one little girl said that becoming an archaeologist was now one of the top five things she wants to be when she grows up,” said CADY co-founder senior Ashlan Falletta-Cowden.
“Another child’s mother wrote us an e-mail telling us that her son had decided that he wanted to be a scientist after Math and Science Day,” Falletta-Cowden continued.
Falletta-Cowden would like a bigger turnout in the future, hoping for between 50 and 75 kids. CADY’s general goals for the future are huge.
As Falletta-Cowden explained, “Our broad goal is to encourage children to embrace their educations and encourage them to go on to pursue college educations. More specifically, we want to promote a liberal arts education to underprivileged children and emphasize that going to a small private institution like Lawrence is just as much of a possibility for them as for anyone else.