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Port Chester Clay Center Celebrates HS Students

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. — Fifteen Port Chester High School students participating in the district’s art enrichment program “Around the World in Clay” celebrated their work Tuesday evening at the Clay Art Center.

The grant-funded enrichment pilot program met for two-hour sessions on 10 Tuesdays. It was created through the district's partnership with the Port Chester Clay Art Center and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Reena Kashyap, executive director of the Clay Art Center, said she was thrilled with the commitment and quality displayed by the students.

“It was fabulous,” Kashyap said. “Clay has the capacity to allow (the students) to express themselves in many ways. You can make everything with clay.”

Port Chester High School student Cesar Oliva said the program offered him a sense of freedom he doesn't usually find inside the classroom.

“I like to be different,” Oliva said. “At first I started off not interested, but after awhile I realized the instructors over here let us express ourselves.”

Oliva's classmate Alexis Bray said the alternative program offered something she couldn't get at the high school, and said she would definitely do it again.

“It was nice because we don’t have a place to do this at school, so it was good to come down here,” Bray said. “It’s something that, once you start, you want to keep doing.”

In attendance Tuesday to congratulate and celebrate the students and their work were Board of Education President Blanca Lopez and members of the Clay Art Center’s Board of Directors.

Lopez thanked the students for plunging into the pilot program and said their participation will allow the program to grow.

“We can build from this and provide additional opportunities with the Clay Art Center and other community partners,” Lopez said.

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