Greenfield Center School holds open house, upcycling event

  • Teacher Katie Moffette, left, and June Koziol, 5, explore items in a sensory water table Saturday during an “up-cycling” event and open house at the Center School in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Scarlet Greenwald, 11, right, and Ada Quilter, 11, send feathers through a wind tunnel Saturday during an “up-cycling” event and open house at the Center School in Greenfield.  STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Teacher Emily Cross, left, assists Meyer Freedman, 6, drills holes to make a key rack Saturday during an “up-cycling” event and open house at the Center School in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Key racks created from old keys that were made Saturday during an “up-cycling” event and open house at the Center School in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Harvey Gilman, left, and his 3-year-old grandchildren Arlo and Max, make a jump rope out of used cloth with the help of teacher Kathryn Greenwood Swanson on Saturday during an “up-cycling” event and open house at the Center School in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • Max Pearson, 11, left, works on creating pieces of clothing with Cady Reiken, 11, Saturday during an “up-cycling” event and open house at the Center School in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • A free store filled with gently used clothing set up in the middle school building Saturday at the Center School in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • The Greenfield Center School at 71 Montague City Rd. in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 11/24/2019 10:01:08 PM

GREENFIELD — Creativity, resourcefulness and environmentalism — those were the values that Greenfield Center School displayed at its open house this weekend.

Greenfield Center School holds two open house events each year. The purpose, said Preschool Director Kiah Tinkham, is not just to allow the public to explore the school’s two buildings — and classrooms for preschool through eighth grade — but to provide a fun experience for visitors.

Saturday, the school held an “up-cycling” event — taking old things and not merely recycling them, but improving them or inventing a new item out of several old ones.

“One of the things we really like to do here is reuse things, teach the students to make something new,” Tinkham said. “It’s also to reduce our carbon footprint.”

For example, certain classrooms displayed jump ropes made out of bed sheets, key racks made from old keys, or cashmere and merino wool sweaters made from discarded hats, arm warmers and gloves.

The up-cycled items weren’t just practical — some were meant to invoke creativity, or simply provide fun.

“I think it’s called a wind tunnel, or a wind cannon,” said Tinkham, looking at a large contraption made out of a fan, clear plastic tube, wood, nuts and bolts.

“It looks easy enough to make,” she added.

The wind cannon was borrowed from Greenfield Community College, and meant to inspire students at Saturday’s open house. Tinkham said that the school already has a culture of creativity, both among students and staff, and the plan is for students at the school to make their own wind cannon.

“It feels like it’s attached to my face!” said middle-schooler Ada Quilter, 11, who stood in front of the wind-cannon, dropped a piece of cloth down the barrel and laughed as the cloth shot out, and stuck to her face, propelled by the wind.

“This is going to be a good one,” said Scarlet Greewald, 11, dropping a fistful of feathers into the contraption, then watching the cannon fire a fluffy, colorful display.

Both of the school’s buildings were open Saturday, and, while both had up-cycling stations, the middle school building also had a free store.

As visitors walked in, they were surrounded by rows of shirts, dresses, scarves and a variety of lightly worn outerwear and sportswear, arranged in rows and in sizes suitable for children. Browsers could pick any item they liked, and simply walk out.

“This was all donated by the Center School community,” said teacher Fynn Crooks, standing in front of a large sign, painted by students, that read, “Save the Earth.”

“And yes,” Crooks added. “It is truly, truly free.”

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.


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