– By Michela Muserra
It’s a wrap! Where do I start? “The Games We Play” school mural project was another fulfilling experience with Thrive Collective.
We started working with the 4th grade students of PS 204 The Vince Lombardi School back in March. Funded by the Cultural Immigrant Initiative via a grant from Council Member Justin Brannan, we explored the games children play in different parts of the world, and how immigrants have brought those traditions with them to Brooklyn. Inspired by legendary Coach Lombardi’s quote, “Winners never quit and quitters never win,” the students depicted their own favorite games in drawings and design ideas.
The Games We Play
When collaborating with students, we also get to know a bit about them personally. About their fears or insecurities, about their weaknesses and about what truly brings joy to their eyes. We learn their names and sometimes get to meet their parents. I feel a bit sad to say “goodbye.” But it fills my heart to know that we were able to bring something colorful to their community.
As the students grow, they will pass by that mural and fondly remember the teamwork that produced it. They’ll say, “Oh, I did this,” and remember the hard work and creativity and fun that transformed a barren wall into a work of art. This is what matters most. Their memories. And my memories with them.
PS 204 Production & Ribbon Cutting
Being born and raised in Italy, getting to know the Bensonhurst neighborhood was especially heart warming. I will miss all the bodegas and old Italian grocery stores that welcomed me during breaks. They got to know my name and always greeted me with, “Hey, paisan.” Surprisingly to me, most of the shop employees still speak Italian. Thank you Bensonhurst ♥️🇮🇹. I will be back for the best fresh mozzarella in NYC. Thank you team Thrive, thank you colleague teaching artists Abby Walsh and Pilar Batista. Thank you @viiibabe for the precious help. What a beautiful journey. Mamma mia!