Drawing and design students from Milwaukee High School of the Arts created 3D puppets, marionettes, and stuffed animals from 2D "monsters" drawn by their third grade partners at Downtown Montessori School. One goal of this intragenerational service-learning experience was to increase understanding and build positive relationships between the teens and the young students.
To celebrate their accomplishments, students gathered with their families for a We Be Monsters gallery night. They auctioned off their artwork to raise money for youth art camp scholarships at Walker's Point Center for the Arts.
Third graders were interviewed before and after their work with the high school students. The post-interviews indicated much more positive attitudes toward teenagers than the pre-interviews.
Reflecting on the experience, MHSA art teacher Carrie Hoelzer wrote, "There were a few memorable things that occurred during this project or process. One was that I saw a totally different side of some students during the collaborative class with the younger students. Students who were usually challenging in class rose to the occasion and did very well engaging the younger student they were paired with. This was very touching to see. Also, every student completed this project. That is not usually the case. Typically I have three or so students who never finish their work. Not only that, but the quality of the work was above average."
See the CBS 58 feature video.