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HHLT’s 2nd Annual Creative SPLASH!

April 8, 2011

Event showcases local students’ nature-inspired poetry and art

The Hudson Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) will host the opening reception for the 2nd Annual Creative SPLASH! on Sunday, April 10 at the Philipstown.info offices, 69 Main St., Cold Spring, from 1-3 p.m. Sponsored this year through the generosity of Central Hudson Gas & Electric, the reception features a reading of selected student works by award-winning poet Irene O’Garden and a gallery of student artwork. The Creative SPLASH! exhibit is open each weekday from 3-5 p.m. through Friday, April 15.
       Creative SPLASH!, a celebration of nature-inspired poetry and art, highlights the work of students from Haldane, Garrison, Fort Montgomery/Highland Falls and Cornwall elementary and middle schools.  The work displayed is the result of a series of free enrichment workshops brought to students in four local school districts over the span of a full year by the HHLT’s Hudson Highlands Regional River of Words (ROW) Program.  Summer art workshops were co-presented with Habitat for Artists (HFA), an artist-run group that explores the nature of creativity and the role of the artist in our communities. The HHLT looks forward to continuing this relationship with local school districts and HFA and presenting Creative SPLASH! events in the years ahead.
       Co-founded by US Poet Laureate Robert Hass, and affiliated with the Library of Congress Center for the Book, ROW strives to incorporate observation-based nature exploration and the arts into traditional education.  In addition to helping improve children’s literacy, and cognitive skills like investigation and critical thinking, ROW’s multidisciplinary, hands-on approach to education nurtures students’ creative voices as well, through instruction and practice in art and poetry. “We’re proud to sponsor Hudson Highlands Land Trust’s educational programs, as they have a positive influence on students from across the Hudson Valley,” said James P. Laurito, President of Central Hudson.
       The Hudson Highlands Land Trust offers a regional version of River of Words to the schools in the Hudson Highlands, using the resources and materials of the national program to focus on the Hudson River watershed. Lisa Mechaley, an educator with 18 years of experience teaching science, spearheads the program, training local teachers to use nature as a learning laboratory, conducting outdoor student workshops, and providing necessary resources.  Launched as a pilot program beginning in the ’08-09 school year, the HHLT Regional ROW program expanded to a full-scale program in the ’09-10 school year and is geared to the K-8 curriculum.
       Students wishing to participate are encouraged to contact Lisa Mechaley at the HHLT office, 845-424-3358 or email, row@hhlt.org.  Submission deadline is Friday, April 8.

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