Staying true to its mission of educating the whole child, St. Peter Academy has moved Visual Art classes online, helping to bolster the already rigorous virtual learning taking place in core academic subjects for students. “When confronted with the idea that my classroom studio would not be utilized anytime soon, I had to get creative” says Brigid Grogan, the school’s full-time Foreign Language and Visual Art instructor. Luckily, for Grogan, creativity is a passion. The educator arrived at St. Peter Academy from Boston Public Schools, having taught bilingual Visual Art classes to preschool through fifth graders at a dual language school for two years. The educator is also a frequent contributor to the performing art programs at local independent schools over the last several summers.
When it comes to including Visual Art in virtual learning, Grogan thinks it’s highly important. “Kids need outlets to express their creativity in a structured way at home – especially during this unusual time” she says. The educator expressed enjoyment over the opportunity to highlight the ways that children can use everyday items around their homes to make beautiful masterpieces. Currently, she is creating and filming Visual Art lessons that have been posted to St. Peter Academy’s YouTube channel. There, she carefully guides students and families through detailed and easy-to-follow instructions for various projects. Recently, Grogan offered a lesson on salt dough ornaments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKrhT3JalYU and plans to soon release videos on drawing gems and jewels – along with making paper decorations for your home. The filming and editing can be daunting when producing an episode for each week; however, Grogan notes that the beneficial outcome is worth the time and effort. “I really enjoy receiving feedback and exciting news from students when they have finished their art pieces. It’s great hearing kids light up through messages I’ve received about their work. I’m eager to release the video on paper decorations, since it will be great for students as we celebrate school spirit week at home in the coming weeks!”
School Principal, Frank Galligan, says the community loves Grogan. “Miss Grogan is a dedicated educator, who continuously lives out the mission and values of St. Peter Academy with her work.” Prior to the COVID closure, Grogan initiated an after-school Visual Art club, which was open to all students in grades Pre-k through 6. Thursday afternoons found students working on a variety of open-studio projects that included sketching, collage making, and using Legos to create artistic pieces. Miss Grogan maintains online portfolios for each student at the school that captures learner growth and highlights their masterpieces over the years and are viewable by the student and family.
Grogan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from St. Joseph’s University, along with a Master’s in Education from Tufts University (The School of the Museum of Fine Arts). “The virtual learning has been fun” she says, “but I’m eager to see students back in my classroom having fun while expressing themselves again soon, too.”
South Boston friends can find more of Miss Grogan’s Visual Art lesson videos on St. Peter Academy’s Facebook Page and YouTube Channel. St. Peter Academy is an independent, community-based private school and serves students from ages 15 months through grade 6. SPA is currently accepting applications for the limited spaces available in the year-round toddler program (beginning at age 15 months) and for students in Pre-K, Kindergarten and grades 1-6. Appointments for video tours can be made by contacting the school at 617-268-0750 or by emailing spa@StPeterAcademy.com.