Students join for art program

HUBBARD — For the past two years, Hubbard High School art students in teacher Joshua MacMillian’s class have spent time each fall and spring assisting Fairhaven School students with arts and crafts projects.

MacMillan said the holiday season is usually a time of year when people do things that benefit others, helping people to realize how blessed they are with the opportunities they have.

He said that each year, members of the Hubbard National Art Honor Society and Future Teachers of America visit and give two Hubbard Art Days for the students at Fairhaven School in Niles.

MacMillan said over the past six years, the administration of Hubbard and Fairhaven Schools have continued to allow a group of 15 Hubbard High School students to come in for a day and switch roles from learners to teachers. The students do a series of five craft projects with the preschool students and the workshop students throughout the day.

“I think it is one of the best educational experiences we offer our students and is one of the most impactful opportunities they will have in their high school career,” MacMillan said

Projects ranged from simple coloring stations of kids in snowsuits to Charlie Brown and Snoopy, bracelets, snowman and gingerbread name tags, snowman bags, and a pair of paper mittens they could decorate to hang on their necks to “keep their hands warm.”

“In six years of visiting Fairhaven, it brings me more joy to see how the students interact with each other, the preschoolers, teenagers and the staff that consist of incredible teachers and aides. The day is one of the most fulfilling days of the year for our kids because they get to escape the classroom walls as a students and go somewhere else to be a teacher to some of the most amazing people you will ever meet,” MacMillan said.

He said the Fairhaven staff makes students feel welcome every time they visit.

“When we leave, the first question from the students is always, ‘When are we going back?'” MacMillan said.

Senior Gabby Torok, who has gone the past two years, said, “Going to Fairhaven is such a wonderful experience for everyone. The staff and students are incredible. I remember when I was in Art 3, Mr. MacMillan would talk about it and how bad I would want to go. When he told me I could go, I was so excited.”

Torok said last year she met a little boy she didn’t know.

“I didn’t know what that little boy did to me but he made me smile so big and made me laugh. I promise you that little boy made my heart grow that day,” she said.

“I love to work with kids and being able to go to Fairhaven is a memory I will never forget and will be in my heart forever.”

Torok said that when she first started high school, she had no clue what she was going to do after she graduated, but going to Fairhaven School made her decide that she wanted to be a special education teacher.

“I just want to thank him for bringing me along and helping me realize what I want to do. I can’t wait to go back,” she said.

The Hubbard students plan to return to the school March 7.