For the past eight years, Partnerschools has been facilitating choir and art partnerships among different schools that result in concerts, exhibitions and friendships across the city of Houston. Partnershools creates opportunities for local schools to partner together creating art and music ultimately creating a stronger community.
For the second year, Presbyterian School was partnered with Yellowstone College Prep, a newly opened Texas Education Agency-approved school designed to expand quality youth educational opportunities for households making less than the poverty line in Houston’s Third Ward.
This week, our 8th grade students met with 6th- 8th grade students from Yellowstone Academy’s Beginning Band for some art time in the MFAH Sculpture Garden.
PS Fine Arts teacher, Leslie Wade, and local Artist, Lia Rodi, hosted the Yellowstone College Prep students starting with a tour through the MFAH teaching students how works of art can include music for inspiration. Students then met up with Presbyterian School's Art & Architecture class for lunch and a sketching session in the Sculpture Garden. To wrap up the day, Yellowstone students visited the Glassell Junior School.
“It was a great experience making new friends, being outside, and drawing together.” said Chase Schlitzberger (‘22). Two Yellowstone students were partnered with one Presbyterian student and were asked to find a sculpture that spoke to them. Students took the opportunity to get to know each other and share life experiences and ideas. “At first when you meet someone, it’s always awkward but once you get to know them, you create this sort of amazing bond. It was really fun to get to know different people and now I’ve made some new friends!” said Diana Hernandez (‘21).
The goal of Partnerschools is to create opportunities for students from different backgrounds to exchange ideas, learn from and with each other, develop friendships, and gain appreciation and acceptance. “What an incredible opportunity to witness our two communities coming together to enjoy art, architecture and our amazing city. I loved watching the students’ faces light up as they stumbled upon antiquities, the Grand Masters and contemporary art. Watching them huddled in the sculpture garden while sketching felt like a return to normal!” said Rodi.
“Since the pandemic began, we have been able to involve twelve schools in virtual and hybrid collaborations, and we have created multiple new programs to reach out to many more children and teachers all over the city and state! Partnerschools plays a key role in keeping students engaged and excited, and in strengthening our community!” said Partnerschools Director, Sonja Bruzauskas. This connection happens through collaboration projects like choir concerts, visual art pieces, or other shared projects. Like Maya Angelou said, “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”