Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 09-11-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | SEPTEMBER 11-17, 2019 NORTH PROVIDENCE 3 attitude and your effort," says Batek. Batek has been named the 2020 Rhode Island Art Education Association's Outstanding Middle School Art Educator of the Year for her dedication and service to art edu- cation. In an award letter, the RIAEA thanked Batek for implementing a "model art education program that has increased community awareness of the importance of art education for all of Rhode Island's school children." Batek runs a "choice-based art room," where she encourages her stu- dents to engage in creative practices and use their imagination. She offers them guidance on their projects, but gives them the freedom to indepen- dently decide what they'll create. This, she said, is the key to creating personally meaningful art. "I was finding that students com- ing into middle school art would often shut down," she said, calling middle school a "whole other animal" compared to elementary. "Students brought with them a variety of socio- economic issues and other factors. They did really, really well with the little art they did, however it was dif- ficult to engage them." Realizing students don't fit into neat boxes, Batek began to give them more freedom in their art projects. Having them focus on things they like and are passionate about made her students feel more comfortable, she said. As part of an exercise on the first day of class, Batek instructs her 6th- graders to draw a box on a blank sheet of paper. "It doesn't matter what size or where you put it," she said. "There are no requirements. In art there are no right or wrong answers. Remember, you have an eraser, you can always erase." Their eyes shift down, pencils to paper. Next, she asks her students to expand on the box, creating a draw- ing of anything they'd like. Their imaginations take hold. The boxes transform into houses, cartoon charac- ters and robots. "I want my students to think more, and to imagine more. Our imagina- tions are not used as much anymore," she said. When she asks her students to reflect on their work, there is one question they may never ask: Is this good enough? "Are you satisfied with your work so far? It's OK if you're not. Where can you improve? There is always room for improvement," she said. A poster on the wall of her class- room reads, "Don't stop until you're proud." Batek, who attended Birchwood herself, has worked as an art teach- erin North Providence schools for 33 years. "I know I'm here for a reason," she said. She's grateful to be recognized by the RIAEA, an honor she said came as a surprise. "I'm not doing the same thing I did when I started. I'm constantly learning from these kids," she said, adding that teaching is all about being a lifelong learner. "I want to find new ways to motivate my students and have them be successful." From preceding page LAURIE BATEK works with students in her art room at Birchwood Middle School. NORTH PROVIDENCE – A new ordinance governing the disposal of old mattresses gives the town a needed means of enforcing a higher standard, say officials. Stefano Famiglietti, head of the Town Council's ordinance subcom- mittee that drafted the new rules approved by the full council last week, said officials are hoping this law makes a significant difference in overall cleanliness in town by acting as a deterrent to careless behavior. "It is my hope that this will give the town the means by which to keep unsightly mattresses off of our streets, which all too often become home to rodents," he said. The following are some of the specifics of the new ordinance: • Dry mattresses and box springs will be picked up by town workers by appointment only. The prop- erty owner or property occupant must make an appointment for pickup with the Department of Recycling & Refuse at 401-719- 1610. • Wet mat- tresses or mat- tresses with bed bugs will not be picked up by the town. In such a case, it is the responsibility of the property owner and/or tenant to transport items to the Central Landfill in Johnston for disposal. If the owner or tenant does not take this action and the mattress is left out, the town may, but is not obligated to, dispose of the mattress and charge the owner and tenant the costs through filing a tax lien. • Property owners and/or ten- ants can't place a mattress or box spring outside without first making an appointment for pickup with the department of recycling and refuse. Mattresses and box springs can only be left out on the date of scheduled pickup. Not following this proce- dure is a violation of the ordinance. Mattresses and box springs left outside will be tagged for removal Stricter rules on mattress disposal now in place By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor 'It is my hope that this will give the town the means by which to keep unsightly mattresses off our streets, which all too often become home to rodents.' STEFANO FAMIGLIETTI Head of the North Providence Town Council Ordinance Subcommittee See MATTRESSES, Page 5

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