Deadlines and homework can pile up, creating an overwhelming presence in the back of student’s minds. It’s easy to get sucked into the stress of school and struggle to wind down and relax. Grady’s new Arts and Crafts club provides students with an outlet to participate in a calm and creative activity with friends.
“It just fills your mind with something else, rather than college and school work,” senior Hailey Larkins said, “because you’re just like making cute little stress balls.”
After senior Olivia Weller started the club, Larkins joined to support her friend. Since its formation this year, the Arts and Crafts club has attracted numerous seniors to the IS4 room to create small pieces of art as a distraction from college deadlines. As the second semester starts to mellow out, the club continues to offer a fun way to be creative and social after school.
“Our goal is to provide the students of Grady with a stress free and fun filled after school club with drawing, painting, crafting, sculpting and so much more,” said senior Marisa Lopata, vice president of the club.
Each Monday, Weller arrives at school with arms full of art supplies. For one meeting, she carried a bag weighed down with paints, brushes and smooth little rocks all day. Club members went to town, painting dinosaurs, sea turtles and more on their rocks.
“My favorite activities we have done with the club are painting rocks, which we plan to put around the school for students with a positive message,” Lopata said.
Another day, Weller brought buckets of orbeez that members poured into balloons to create stress balls, something that “came super in handy for our juniors and seniors,” according to Lopata.
“Olivia comes up with cute little ideas. For christmas we made christmas ornaments and one time we made stress balls with orbeez. They’re just fun little things like DIY projects,” Larkins said.
After school meetings generate a laid-back and laughing mood, as people sit around tables together and dip their brushes into paint.
“We want students to leave school with a positive attitude, to have something fun to look forward to after school and become super creative and come up with some of their own craft ideas,” Lopata said.
Beyond their stress-relieving art activities, the club has also partnered with other Grady clubs. They helped the Grady Ignite Club decorate boxes for the tampon drive, and had a joint meeting with Grady’s March for Our Lives Club. Students made small paintings and stuffed animals while discussing gun violence and taking action.
“I believe this club has a positive impact on members because once they come in smiles appear on their faces. It’s a time to just forget about school for an hour or so and have fun making crafts with friends and teachers,” Lopata said.