Fort Wayne Community Schools - home page

Record Number: 2500
Displayed from: May 22, 2006 , until: Jun 15, 2006

Fort Wayne Community Schools' Whitney Young Early Childhood Center has broken new ground in advancing the district's goal of collaborating with local universities! In a first-ever, the preschoolers and kindergartners at the center have been working with ceramist students in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. On Monday, May 22, the results of their partnership were unveiled. During a ceremony held at the school, FWCS Board of School Trustees President Geoff Paddock, Area Administrator Debra Faye Williams Robbins, esq., Young Principal Diana Parker, along with several Pre-k and kindergarten children unveiled the large ceramic mural that is now a permanent part of the front of the school at 1026 E. Pontiac St. Also on hand were Dr. Benjamin C. Christy, Dean of the Visual and Performing Arts and IPFW Associate Professor Nancy McCroskey, whose Site Specific Ceramic Class students made the mural a reality. The project goal was to represent in ceramic Whitney Young's Reggio Emilia-based philosophy of nothing without joy, a term coined by Loris Malaguzzi, as it applies to the artistic process and expression of the children. The philosophy began after World War II in Reggio Emilia - a town in Northern Italy. Whitney Young teacher Jan Sarratore knew of McCroskey's piece, Remember Lest We Forget, displayed at the Achduth Vesholom Temple last year. The mural at Young is a companion piece, developed to express the ideas of students at the childhood center. It is a remarkable work, with images of little hands and elaborate, as well as very simple drawings, created by those little hands. McCroskey and her students worked in Sarratore and Katie Ziegler's classrooms twice a week for an hour and a half during the past two semesters. There, they explored with Young students different materials, working with shapes, painting and measurements. The Nothing Without Joy clay mural welcomes visitors to Whitney Young by giving them a sense of the philosophy upon which the educational practices there are founded. The cost of the piece was donated by IPFW.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.