Kingsbridge International High School seniors presented a non-traditional puppet show to P.S. 65 elementary school in Mott Haven on Feb. 15.
The show consisted of two large puppets, shadow puppets, and three videos of ceramic puppets, all made by students. Its purpose?
To integrate bilingual language into art.
The art of puppetry includes manipulating theatrical performance.
This was done in Spanish and English.
Senior Anna Hernandez created Belinda, a butterfly puppet who follows balloons to see where they float and it finds an alien hosting a party.
It took Hernandez two months to assemble the body, wings, eyes, lashes, and antennas on the puppet.
The fabrics and ribbons used were donated.
Hernandez and her classmates couldn’t have created their puppets without a department of education multilingual learners and students with disabilities grant.
In 2022-23, 200 schools received grants totaling $2.9 million.
The Kingsbridge school received $14,800 of those funds.
In addition, each school received roughly $3,000 to support the education department staff committed to their hours on the project.
The participating teachers were 25-year teacher Bob Hechler, visual arts, Luz Rincon, Spanis, and Leonardo Iglesias, English language arts.
In the grant application, they chose the organization they would like to work with. The group was encouraged to expand an existing partnership. In this case, the vivid Voice Endeavor partnered on this smaller project.
In addition, the school laid out the specifics of the application, meaning how many visits to the classroom, the intended students that will work together and how many of those students are multilingual, said Melissa Kahn, a press department representative for United Federation of Teachers.
She also added that Kingsbridge was a great candidate for the funding because they are almost 100 percent English language learners.
“We don’t want to create robots, we want to create people who think creatively and outside of the box and who look for a solution beyond the obvious,” Hechler told Kahn.