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Beautiful Scholars’ Art Adorns Southside Academy This Summer

Nancy Rynkiewicz, art teacher at Southside Academy Charter School, took advantage of beautiful summer days for art enrichment time during summer school.
 Student paintings.

One project involved the Moral Focus virtues. Southside Academy believes that kindness and strong hearts and minds can impact the world in significant ways. Virtues like respect, compassion, and perseverance are essential for kids to succeed and are an essential part of what is taught. Every month the school features a different Moral Focus virtue because they care about developing the whole student, heart and character included.
 Student paintings being added as ceiling tiles.

All grades were involved during summer school. Rynkiewicz had several ceiling tiles in an entryway and students were able to paint a Moral Focus virtue on each tile.
“Any way we can encourage the scholars to reflect on our Moral Focus words/meanings is a positive reinforcement for everyone. I lightly chalked the words on some tiles and others I had the scholars do themselves,” said Rynkiewicz. “Teamwork for this project was amazing.”
 Children talking through a chain link fence.

There were two scholars who worked on finishing individual tiles after a collaboration of ages and grades did the background. The integrity tile was completed by Heaven Sigler, incoming eighth grader. The encouragement and endurance, a school-created Moral Focus virtue for June, tiles had finishing touches by Marshall Pam, incoming eighth grader. The courage tile was created by the eighth-grade summer school class, and a blank ceiling tile was given to them to create what they wanted.
 Children smiling and drawing at a table

The other tiles completed were wisdom, respect, gratitude, self-control, perseverance, and compassion. Rynkiewicz gave a shoutout to Steve Streeter, site coordinator, for re-installing the beautiful Moral Focus ceiling tiles in the main entryway.
Rynkiewicz also did other fun art projects with the summer school students. There was a beads and bracelets project, banner painting, chalk art, and fence art where ribbon was weaved through the chain link fence.

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About Southside Academy Charter School
Southside Academy Charter School is a tuition-free, public charter school in Syracuse, New York, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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