Catasauqua Press

Saturday, July 21, 2018
PRESS PHOTOS BY MARK RECCEKFrom left, Sheckler Elementary School students Jezial Kelley, Reece Lopez, Makayla Bird and Ben Pletz hold up the bricks they painted in Daniel Kotran’s art class. PRESS PHOTOS BY MARK RECCEKFrom left, Sheckler Elementary School students Jezial Kelley, Reece Lopez, Makayla Bird and Ben Pletz hold up the bricks they painted in Daniel Kotran’s art class.
The students’ bricks show a variety of colors, designs and messages. The students’ bricks show a variety of colors, designs and messages.

Beautiful bricks: Art project adorns walkway at Sheckler

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by MARK RECCEK Special to The Press in School

Sheckler Elementary School art teacher Daniel Kotran uses his classroom to ensure his students’ artistic and creative minds are put into action. Just recently, Kotran did just that. He provided each student a brick in which they painted an artistic design or message.

Kotran said Sheckler guidance counselor Kim Ceccatti selected a book this year titled “Only One You” by Linda Kranz. The book encourages children to believe in themselves, care about others and attempt to make the world a better place.

Ronald DeMaio, assistant to the principal, and Ceccatti read the book to every class.

“With these ideas in mind, our bully prevention committee came up with a schoolwide art project that would showcase the way our school can come together to achieve a goal while also promoting individual student creativity,” Kotran said.

In addition to students, faculty and staff were also given bricks to design, with more than 560 completed. The bricks were recycled from other projects the district worked on.

The bricks are unique, with many conveying various messages and displaying vibrant creations.

According to Kotran, students were excited to work on their project.

Ben Pletz confirmed Kotran’s comments.

“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It was a really cool way to make them.”

Makayla Bird said the bricks will introduce others to the school.

“I think it’s a fun way to welcome new people to Sheckler,” she said.

Jezial Kelley echoed Makayla’s comment.

“I just think it’s fun,” she said.

The colorful bricks sparked an interest in many students.

Reece Lopez said, “It’s nice to see how colorful the bricks are.”

Sheckler students, Kotran added, continue to show a passion for working on new projects.

“Their enthusiasm for this project and others we have done in the past are really inspiring, both to myself and the rest of the teachers and staff in our building,” he said. “The students especially liked the idea that this project will be a part of Sheckler for a very long time — something that they could come back to visit many years in the future to look back on their time spent at Sheckler.”

The bricks have been installed along the main office entrance walkway at Sheckler to greet those who visit the school.

“This project was not a part of the regular curriculum I usually do in art class,” Kotran said. “As such, I like to think that the experience students had, and the impact the outcome the finished project will have, transcends the need for a letter grade.”