Willowbrook Launches Summer of Creativity
by Molly Kirschner and Kelsey Ryan, Summer Community VISTAs
We launched Summer DREAM at Willowbrook with a smoothie-making, outdoor-game-playing extravaganza! We blended up some berries and bananas with some milk, and then hit the sidewalk, where we played a group game, drew pictures and traced each other with chalk, and saw some mind-blowing athletic stunts! Many of the youths showed off their skateboard skills, and one, Jacob, even jumped up in the air and landed a perfect a backwards somersault! Another boy, Ben, taught us how to play wall ball.
The following day (Wednesday, June 18) the youths demonstrated their talents for the visual and performing arts when we did paper bag puppet theater! Using markers, cotton balls, googly eyes, and fuzzy strips, they transformed ordinary paper bags into characters like “Ellie the Energetic Elephant” (who lived up to her name on stage!) “Wildthing” (a wolf with jaws that would put any predator to shame,) and “Santa Clause,” (who had dozens of eyes, which explains how he sees who’s naughty and who’s nice all year round.) After the youths introduced their puppets to each other, they divided into teams and wrote and rehearsed original plays, which they then shared with us on a stage that Ben (aforementioned wall ball superstar) designed.
That week we also had our first Teen Night, which we are planning on having once a week. We baked cookies, amazed each other with card tricks (including the infamous “52 Pickup!”) and played some fun improv theater games like “ABC,” in which two actors are given a location and situation, and they go back and forth exchanging lines: the first line begins with the letter “A,” the second with “B” and so on… We also played a writing game called “Pass the Story,” in which one person starts a story on a piece of paper that circulates around the room. Each person gets to add a sentence… but can only see the last sentence that was written! As a group we wrote the following story:
There was a man that almost fell over.
I wanted to pick an egg up and drop it on the man’s head.
Then I went to the store to buy some eggs and bread.
So I went home and cooked some toast and eggs for dinner!
And then I ate the eggs and used the toast to clean the table so it would look nice when Aunt Martha-Joy came over with her pet wasp, Ronald.
The wasp ended up slipping on the greasy table and Aunt Martha-Joy left.
To see more photos of the Willowbrook Local Program's adventures, click here.