December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
Creative Minds at Home
By Verónica Rivera-Negrón
D
uring a summer morning in 2020, I was building a house of cardboard
boxes in the " classroom " corner I use to facilitate online
programs from home. Across the room sat my laptop where nine
little windows showed families building structures of their own.
It felt different from what we normally do in person, and yet, there was a sense
of community in creating something in unison. This class was part of Creative
Minds, the City of Hyattsville, Maryland's program for children ages 1
to 3 and their families. It incorporates multilingual songs, hands-on activities
and special events. Like many other organizations, we started offering online
programming - calling it Creative Minds at Home - when shelter-in-place
orders went into effect at the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
and continued this offering for more than a year. During this process,
the Youth Programs team leveraged the unique tools of online platforms, collaborated
with parents, partnered with local artists, and facilitated arts-based,
hands-on activities to deliver a meaningful program for the community.
Collaborating With Parents
Creative Minds at Home extends
the classroom into the participants'
residences and works alongside the
adults in the family to deliver significant
experiences for children. A parent
is a child's first teacher (tinyurl.
com/49xvwfbk). They are essential
to the success of a program, especially
in an online learning space.
Before the kids connect, their guardians
read the instruction emails, log
in every week and prepare supplies.
Live, they aid the child in following
instructions, muting and unmuting
microphones, and making the experience
as interactive as possible.
Artistic Ingenuity and
Community Building
One of the first online experiences we
offered was in partnership with Teatro
La Bolsa. In April 2020, this theater
group premiered a four-show series
of interactive, bilingual (EnglishSpanish)
virtual shows for the entire
Top: Bilingual theater group Teatro La
Bolsa performs a virtual show.
Bottom: A supply box contains materials
for hands-on activities.
12 Parks & Recreation | DECEMBER 2 0 2 1
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
family based on Latin American
folklore. One show asked participants
to use paper and crayons to
make a butterfly as they heard the
story of The Hungry Monarca Caterpillar.
These performances - which
engaged an average of 50 families
per show - offered opportunities for
community building at a time when
we had to be physically distant.
Making, Learning
and Playing
Inspired by La Bolsa's use of ordinary
objects to make the online
experience interactive, we started
incorporating live tutorials of
hands-on activities into our program.
As a result, attendance to
our online program tripled. By Fall
2020, we curated supply boxes that
included a children's book and art
materials. The supply box made it
easier for families to engage in the
program, but it is not the only way
participants could interact. A parent
who purchased the box shared
that their child " loved having a special
box of materials to grab each
week. " Families, however, had the
option to use materials they already
have at home and the book always
was projected on screen.
Through
Creative Minds at
Home, we learned that the park
and recreation field is uniquely positioned
to offer arts programming
that develops our collective imagination
and creates community,
even while physically apart.
Verónica Rivera-Negrón is Youth
Programs Coordinator for City of
Hyattsville, Maryland (vnegron@
hyattsville.org).
PHOTO COURTESY OF VERÓNICA RIVERA-NEGRÓN
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSÉ A. CENTENO-MELÉNDEZ

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 32
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 44
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com