This past October, La Cima Elementary Charter School partnered with EDAAV (Ecole d’art au village), an educational charity organization initiated by a collective of artists who accompany children throughout the world in discovery of their heritage and environment. La Cima 5th graders participated in a project called “Paris, New York: The Imaginary City” which encouraged young people from Paris and New York to study the constant changes in their cities through the guidance of Parisian artists in New York and New York artists in Paris. They created artwork through different media to represent their perspective of their cities.
This past week, 12 La Cima 5th graders and 7 chaperones travelled to Paris as a culmination of the project. It was a true fulfillment of our mission and vision as students participated in a wonderful array of rigorous and relevant activities. Ranging from the more tourtisty jaunts like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre to a thoughtful workshop at the Memorial de la Shoah (Holocaust Memorial), our scholars experienced several aspects of the city, including the sights, sounds and tastes. They even tried escargot!
We also visited with the Parisian students who had participated in the art project. It was a beautiful exchange between the young people, who did not share a common language, but were able to work together on iPads and create art together. La Cima scholars also connected with writer and African-American ex pat, Jake Lamar who spoke with them about the experience of Black Americans in Paris and why it has been a haven for many of our most famous writers and artists, including Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Josephine Baker.
La Cima’s vision is to develop students who have the intellectual capacity, social capital and the emotional strength of character to be personally successful and to act as effective change-makers in their communities. Watching our scholars engage with maturity and curiosity in this new world gave us all the utmost confidence that this vision will be fulfilled. Their sense of community has been made bigger, their social capital balance has grown and we are thoroughly proud of the work that we continue to do for our scholars and families within our walls and beyond our borders.
Independent charter schools across the city are doing remarkable things with our students in devotion to the fulfillment of our respective missions and visions. It is work for which we are very proud and we hope will broaden the narrative about the sector.
Tara Phillips, Executive Director at La Cima Elementary Charter School