Little Red Schoolhouse gets artsy with kids help

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | The Greenport students who decorated the Little Red Schoolhouse for Memorial Day Tuesday with Greenport Recreation Center coordinator Joanne Jackson.

Greenport’s Little Red Schoolhouse has been given a colorful dose of patriotism for Memorial Day.

On Tuesday afternoon seven Greenport Elementary School students helped decorate the historic Front Street building with red, white and blue artwork they had spent two months creating during an after-school program at the Greenport Recreation Center.

“It’s Americana,” said Tom Payne, co-owner of The South Street Gallery and head of the Greenport Improvement Committee. “There’s nothing better than kids’ art.”

Greenport village administrator David Abatelli, who helped coordinate the event, said the Little Red Schoolhouse will be open to the public on Memorial Day so that residents and visitors can view the students’ work. Volunteers from American Legion will also be on hand to collect donations for the rehabilitation of its vintage roller rink.

Joanne Jackson, a coordinator at the Greenport Recreation Center, who supervised the students’ art-making, said the decorating effort began in March when Mr. Abatelli reached out to her about decorating the Little Red Schoolhouse for Memorial Day. Ms. Jackson, who has worked for the rec center since 1999, said about 45 students in preschool through fourth grade contributed. Courtney Kart, 16, a sophomore at Greenport High School, helped supervise.

“It’s marvelous. It’s wonderful,” Ms. Jackson said of the artwork. “We put a lot of work into it.”

The art on display includes a red, white and blue paper chain and illustrations of American servicemen and women filled in with crayon. “I colored a picture of a soldier and an Air Force pilot,” said second grader Donovan Walker, 7.

Tiarra Edwards, a fourth grader, said she colored a drawing of Martin Luther King, Jr. “He was a good man,” the 10-year-old said. She added that Memorial Day is “about how people made this country good for us.”

Second grader Justus Horton, 7, said he had fun coloring a picture of a soldier and two airplanes.

The students said they are excited about the public coming to view their work.

“It’ll be really nice,” Tiarra said. “People will get to see it and if they knew who we were they would be very proud of us.”

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