Hanoch Piven
Art Education
Bialik Rogozin School or The New Israelies
posted: November 29, 2009
Last week I had a very special experience. I visited the Bialik Rogozin school in the south of Tel Aviv.
The school is 'home' to children who have their origins in 48 countries. Children of foreign workers, refuges from Darfur, immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Arab families and many more.
Many or even most students come from low socio-econominc status and live in the southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv. Some are Israelli born and only speak hebrew (even if their look is different) while other are newcomers.

The school led by its amazing Principal Karen Tal is constantly battling various problems: parents (in the rare case they are both present) who are at work till the late hours of the day, pending court orders to expel kids from the country for illegal status of their parents and just plain language barriers are just some of their challenges.
The school has decided to have an educational responsibility for students throughout the whole day, and is open till 730PM every day. It is inspiring to see how dedicated the school staff is.

A wonderfully dedicated task-force of volunteers and private donors from the Israeli High Tech Industry and from Jewish Communities abroad has helped the school during the last years so that it could accommodate all its special needs. I'm proud to be now somehow a part of this task-force! The school is a beautiful mosaic of people. Its multiculturalism very unusual and almost surreal in the Israeli landscape.
I have to say that the response of cheers from the kids when I showed my Obama portrait was specially meaningful in this place.
In a way this school is a litmus test for Israel and its vision of the future.
If you want to read more about the school, here's an article from The Jewish Journal.

Thanks Yavin Dror and Dani Vardi for the great photos. I think they speak for themselves.

The Sequel
posted: October 22, 2009
Around a year after I visited Startzville Elementary School in Comal County, Texas, I received a package with 5 beautifull books titled Teacher, What Are Presidents Made of? (The Sequel).

These books were made by different grades in the School. Each student chose and researched an American President and found a way to represent him both in objects and words. There are too many good portraits and writing there. I'm including only a small tasting. It is such a pleasure to see how that Presidents book is flying around and sending  c r e a t i v e  teachers into a space apt for developing interesting and fun projects for the students. Thank You so much Sheri and Cec for sending them to me!

You don't want to turn into a Windigo
posted: April 20, 2009
It is so satisfying to see how teachers, inspired by my books, create their own projects giving them their own twist.
Such is the case with Cheryle Walker-Hemingway & Amy Peckham at Friends Academy in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. They sent me the above email from their Early Childhood Program students together with a wonderful book.
I cannot post all the great portraits that were in it, so my apologies for randomly choosing some!
"Thank you for making the faces in the Mo and Jo book because we liked them and got inspired by them! We love the smelly dog book, too. You inspired us to make our own book and send it to you. We are so excited for you to read it!  It was fun making the faces. Thank you for writing your books because we love them so much. They are our favorite books in our classroom. We hope you like ours, too. Love, Willow, Fionnuala, A.J., Ally, Sophia, Breck, Sierra, Rook, Nico, Nika, Reed, Morgan, Kathy, Sorelle, Erin, and Frances"
Links to TV Program
posted: December 3, 2008
Hey Kids
Look now they can be embedded too! Hooray for TV3 of Catalonia! There is a way to watch my chapters of Una Ma de Contes online:
I cannot embed them here but if you want to watch some (there will be 20 by the end of the month) here's the link to the chapters I have worked on during the last year and posted about before.
They are in Catalan but for those who don't understand it, I think they work visually even without text.

A book came from Texas
posted: November 8, 2008
I have been deeply immersed in a huge work project but followed from afar up with excitement how Drawger dealt with the US Elections.
Things piled up meantime:
I received a package from the LEAP students of Lakeland Elementary in Lewisville, Texas with a beautiful book called: What LEAP Students are Made of.
There are so many nice portraits in it. Here are just a few pages randomly chosen.
Thank you so much teacher Kara Sneed and to the gifted and beautiful Leap students.
Such a gorgeous present to get.