NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The young ones who come by the Huguenot Children's Library on many Monday afternoons get to do more than browse for books thanks to volunteers from the New Rochelle High School National Art Honor Society.
That's when the NRHS school artists lead the "Hands Across Art" workshop in the basement of the brick building just across Huguenot Lake from their school. They guide the children in fashioning one-day projects, mostly seasonally themed, such as pop stick scarecrows, paper hearts and leaf hedgehogs.
"We're helping them expand their creativity," said Jasmine Lopez, president of the NRHS chapter of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS). "It's also a bonding activity."
On that day, students were creating snowmen. They started by drawing circles on the paper.
"Then we put cotton balls all over it," said Jonah Koshy, a third-grader at the George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School. "After that, we put on the arms."
The limbs were pipe cleaners. On the faces, many students chose the googly eyes over black paper circles. For Luke Koshy - Jonah's brother and a Davis first-grader - that was the best part.
"Making the eyes so he can see," he said.
The program is led by three student Library Program co-chairs - Lopez, Jordana Hernandez and Sanaz Sadeghi - with other NAHS members taking part as they like and with approval from faculty advisor Alexandra Brock. The three co-chairs have planned every project from October 2018 through April 2019. They run the class and mentor any other NAHS members that come volunteer. Some of the students are gaining experience with an eye toward a career in early childhood education.
"Many of the NAHS students were in this program when they were younger, and now are part of it," Brock said.
It is one of several community projects the NAHS students lead. Recently, they created seasons' greetings cards for Meals on Wheels recipients that were delivered as cheerful notes with the hot lunches.
The teaching activity generally draws eight to 10 students, but has had as many as 20 at once.