Summer drama, writing programs for kids

Cynthia de Seife (left) teaches Maria Holloway-Racine sponge printing.
Cynthia de Seife (left) teaches Maria Holloway-Racine sponge printing.

DeKALB – ArtSmarts is a new summer arts-based program which encourages self-expression, creativity, and critical thinking through fun and engaging activities.

ArtSmarts began in January as an after-school program at Clinton Rosette Middle School. Students met once a week to work on art and drama projects. The summer program offers students an opportunity to create larger, more involved projects requiring focused higher level thinking skills.

ArtSmarts was created by Cynthia de Seife, local artist and educator. De Seife’s educational specialty is integrated arts in education.

“I believe our children have enormous potential that is only partially tapped in a skills-oriented classroom experience,” she said. “ArtSmarts is a way to show young people the larger possibilities of their own thoughts and skills.”

The ArtSmarts Summer Program meets in two-week sessions from 9:30 a.m. to noon Mondays through Thursdays at de Seife’s home in DeKalb. Session 1 (June 23-July 3) will focus on drama, using theater games and exercises to create an original skit. Students will be in charge of every aspect of the production, including acting, directing, props, scenery, costumes, and programs. Session 2 (July 7-17) will focus on creative writing. Students will work individually on original stories. They will learn several illustration techniques as well as bookbinding. Each student will make his/her own original hard-bound book to keep.  

“These programs are a great way to add some fun and structure to the long summer break, while keeping academic and communication skills sharp for the fall,” de Seife said.   

Classes are for students age 11-14. The cost is $50 for each session, and class size is limited.

For more information, contact Cynthia de Seife at or call 815-621-8859.

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