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BPS Kindergartners share "Our Boston" Models at City Hall

April 17, 2015

Boston Public Schools

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 Today, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that the “Our Boston” visioning work of 18 Boston Public Schools kindergartners will be on display in the mezzanine of City Hall starting next week. In February, Mayor Walsh asked 30 kindergarten classes from across the city to create models demonstrating how to make Boston a more accessible, vibrant, and engaging place. The “Our Boston” exhibit is part of the 21st Annual Youth Arts Month, a City Hall-wide showcase of Boston Public Schools artwork on display on Floors 1, 2, 6 and 8, from Thursday, April 23 through Friday, May 1, 2015.

“Our youngest citizens have some of the biggest ideas, and the Our Boston project is an exciting way to engage them with government early on,” said Mayor Walsh. “When invited to contribute their thoughts, children will awe and inspire all of us with their creativity, vision and amazing sense of belief that anything is possible.”

“I continue to be proud of our youngest students and the learning that takes place in BPS kindergarten,” stated Interim Superintendent John McDonough. “The Our Boston project is part of the new Focus on K2 curriculum for kindergartners, which emphasizes learning in a hands-on, creative way that encourages both curiosity and exploration; the visualization of these students’ ideas clearly demonstrates how beneficial this curriculum is for children.”

The students had five weeks to research, plan, and construct models of what a better Boston for children would look like. The project, which tapped into children’s imaginations and sense of fairness, also helped students build skills of inquiry, investigation, exploration and refinement, while promoting an opportunity for art exploration.  

In early April a committee made up of members of the BPS Arts and Early Childhood Departments selected 18 of the “Our Boston” models to be displayed at City Hall as part of the annual BPS arts show. The children’s ideas included: indoor playgrounds, so children can have place to run around during the winter; more houses, so no one will go homeless; and a “money door” that provides cash for those in need, utilizing a hand scanner on the door to determine if an individual needs money or not. Winning models were primarily based on the detail and sophistication of the children’s ideas and the artistic merit of their models, and included a variety of different types of ideas represented.

“What happens when you ask young children their opinions about how to make Boston a fairer and more interesting place for children?,” said Jason Sachs, Director of Early Childhood Programs at BPS. “The Our Boston project demonstrates that when you engage our youngest citizens in serious conversations about our city they have really valuable ideas to share.”

Each year the Visual and Performing Arts Department for BPS holds the Annual Youth Arts Month at City Hall, showcasing the work of young BPS artists.  This year’s 21st annual exhibit features the work of 34 schools representing close to 400 Pre K-12th grade students. The works of art on display reflect the quality instruction of BPS teachers and the dedication, skill development and creativity of BPS students. The public is encouraged to explore this free exhibit and be inspired by the students’ vision. The exhibit is located on Floors 1, 2, 6 and 8 through May 1, 2015.