When Beachwood Elementary School third grader Claire Rivera is ready to start on her next art project, she’s not searching for her watercolors, colored pencils or even paper mache. She’s often digging in the recycling bin at her home.
“She’s always finding something to craft,” Claire’s mom, Kathryn Rivera, said. “She loves to take recyclables and turn them into different projects. She’s always taking what I call junk and turning it into art.”
Claire’s grandmother is an art teacher and inspired her love of crafting. The two bond by working on projects together.
Art projects help Claire open up her imagination. Claire flexes her creative muscles every day in the classroom, no matter the subject. Her teacher last year, Rhonda Schimon, said she enjoyed watching Claire engage with reading assignments that let her artistic impulses flow.
“She was always so engaged with activities that asked students to construct characters and scenes visually,” Schimon said. “Claire really enjoyed making stories come alive in such a fun and creative way.”
When the district shifted to virtual learning last spring, Claire didn’t miss a beat. She brought a positive attitude every day and spent extra time with distance learning web applications so she could keep expanding her learning from home.
Claire is one example of the more than 12,000 students in Clover Park School District who succeed inside and outside the classroom every day. She loves to read and uses the books she enjoys as a gateway to expand her imagination and engage with her classmates.
“She always comes to class ready and eager to learn,” Schimon said. “She is responsible, kind and capable, and she is always willing to pitch in to help her classmates succeed.”