The Star-Herald

Community works with Pine Street kids to create special art piece

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Second-graders at Pine Street Elementary School in Presque Isle recently had a close encounter with balloons and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Students participated in a fun activity based on the book “Balloons Over Broadway,” and harnessed help from the community to create their own balloons.

The book teaches young and old alike the history behind the famous parade and the challenges Anthony “Tony” Frederick Sarg overcame when creating the balloons we see today, said Pine Street Principal William Guerrette.

 Sag wanted the balloons to articulate and gesture like enormous puppets. He put his imaginative ideas to work, and after several attempts, he was successful.

Many people used their expertise to help with this project. The hands-on learning activity was a collaborative effort that gave community members the experience of working with young children. 

At Pine Street, second-grade teacher Jennifer Hallett approached the second-grade team and art teacher, Ms. Powers. Members of the Anah Shrine Temple Klowns, Shawn Lahey and Dave Allen, were called upon to help students learn the art of making balloon animals. 

Dr. Malenfant and students majoring in education from the University of Maine at Presque Isle joined in to help the students create a “Balloons Over Broadway” mural, complete with their own balloons.

The finished project was an eye-appealing scene for second-grade parents to view and enjoy as they came to the school for parent-teacher conferences.

“To see this creative idea transpose into the final project was terrific,” Guerrette said. “All parties involved are excited to come back next year to do it again.”

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