Using inspiration from the river, 143 middle-schoolers from Marcy Open School worked with a local artist to develop their observational drawing skills and enhance learning in a number of subject areas. Students explored river themes in academic subjects including science, English language arts, social studies, art, math and French. They applied their knowledge to multiple forms of art including journaling, storytelling, drawing, painting and collages.
The project culminated in the creation of a visual arts representation of the importance of the Mississippi River ecosystem, which students then shared with the greater Marcy community and at the MWMO. The project continued to add depth for the rest of the year to the concepts and ideas they explored during their river study. Evaluations demonstrated increased knowledge, improved appreciation, and better stewardship of the river. As a result, students became informal river educators for their families, school, and community.