A Summer Program for Rising Students in the Pittsfield Elementary Schools
This three-week, full-day summer program is offered free of charge to rising 3rd, 4th, and now 5th grade students from each of the Pittsfield Elementary Schools. The program provides students with a dynamic, in-depth exploration of the diverse cultural landscape of the Berkshires, the wonderful resources we have available here, and a focus on a central theme.
Students forge connections with the program’s collaborators — some of the county’s esteemed organizations — and build relationships to prepare them for future success. With IS183's Faculty Artist, students create bird masks and insect wings to wear in their final dance performance, caddisfly cases inspired by artist Hubert Duprat (who collaborated with caddisfly larvae to create gold-encased sculptures), and use bookmaking skills to bind their own nature journals. On the Berkshire Community College campus, students have access to state-of-the-art lab spaces for scientific investigation led by the college's science faculty, and the expansive fields and forest.
The four collaborating organizations each use their unique perspective to craft an experience around the central theme of birds for first-year students, insects for second-year returning students, and now mammals for students in their third year of the program, creating a holistic, memorable learning experience. Students are given access to diverse resources and opportunities for cultural and environmental engagement, allowing them to become immersed in an intensive and fun celebration of the Berkshires — the place we call home.