School Hosting Holly Jolly Artfest Next Saturday

BERLIN – Local children are once again invited to Berlin Intermediate School this December for the facility’s annual Artfest.

On Dec. 8, Berlin Intermediate School (BIS) will host Holly Jolly Artfest, an event featuring more than two dozen art stations for children to experience. The day will give kids the chance to try sculpture, painting, watercolor and more in an effort to provide them with access to the arts.

“The intent of Artfest is to bridge the gap between family and school,” said Stefanie McElhinny, a visual art teacher at BIS. “It is a great way to encourage parents and children to visit the school and promote the arts immersion philosophy that plays an integral role in the curriculum. Faculty, parents, students and teachers come together for an afternoon of fun and education.”

Holly Jolly Artfest is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in the cafeteria at BIS. Admission is $3 per child.

“The $3 admission fee entitles each student to a t-shirt of tote, which he or she will create a design for at a printmaking station,” McElhinny said. “The money raised from the entrance fee is used to replenish supplies.”

The event is open to kids ages three through 12. Each child must be accompanied by an adult.

McElhinny says this year’s Artfest will include 25 stations, ranging from printmaking to weaving. Attendance at the event has increased each year and now averages 250 children.

Each child usually completes six or seven projects during their visit.

“The goal is to have the students create original projects they may gift to family and friends over the holiday season,” she said.

Artfest is made possible through the support of volunteers from the BIS PTA and Stephen Decatur High School. Funding for materials comes from both the PTA as well as the Art League of Ocean City.

“The program is so well received that Stephen Decatur High School students who are BIS alumni return to their alma mater to pay it forward,” McElhinny said. “Each year (teacher) Laurie Chetelat helps to organize the volunteers at the high school who receive service learning credits.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.