The air is filled with squeals as Hollingworth first graders are handed paint brushes and a canvas. Steps away in 5th Grade Teacher Gigi Schmitt’s class, students are learning how to play chess. These special after school activities were part of Hollingworth Elementary’s Care and Connect events during the first month of school.
"Building relationships is key to the work we do in education,” said Hollingworth Elementary Principal Dr. Hoon. “Holding activities such as our chess club and art classes after school provided additional time, in a relaxed environment, for students and staff to connect. These opportunities have supported stronger bonds at our school."
Back in the cafeteria, Playground Aide Silvia Ibarra introduces the art teacher for the day, her daughter and Hollingworth and Nogales High School Alumni, Mika Ibarra, who is currently attending Fullerton College. “So today we are teaching these first graders how to draw and paint either a jellyfish or a sea turtle,” said Mika. “Art is a passion for me. When I showed Ms. P the librarian some of my work, she said to come and help! It has been really fun working with the students.” (Shown above: Art assistants for the day, Teacher Bina Hong and Speech Pathologist Zavier Williams with students.)
In Ms. Schmitt’s class, students are setting up chess boards, excited for the final culmination day. “For our care and connect time, we have had a chess club that has met three times a week after school. I am an avid chess player and thought the students would enjoy learning how to play so I decided to teach them,” said Schmitt, who has taught in RUSD for 26 years. “Today is the grand finale. Students are competing in our final chess tournament and the winner will receive a new chess board.”
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