Summer is right around the corner, and Portside has many options for Summer Camp this year!
Portside’s Summer Camp Curriculum is focused on Empowering the Artists of Tomorrow. Portside will be offering 8 weeks of summer camp, beginning on June 22nd and ending on August 21st, and features two types of camp; Summer Art Camp and Summer Art Studio. Summer Art Camp occurs during the two weeks of June and two weeks of August, and involves a variety of different art forms and mediums throughout each week. Summer Art Studio, back by popular demand, takes place in July and features a different art form each week. The specialty camp for budding young artists includes weekly themes of Anime & Comics, STEAM & Robotics, Nature & Mindfulness, and Fashion, Fibers & Textiles. Families have the option to sign up for one week at a time or multiple, depending on their needs.
In both Summer Art Camp and Summer Art Studio, Portside students are introduced to the work of local and international artists and each week, and campers will visit Philadelphia’s local arts and cultural hotspots like the Fabric Workshop Museum, Franklin Institute, Please Touch Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
To accommodate parents' busy work schedules, Portside camp and care hours are similar to a regular school day, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm and offer before care at 7:30am and aftercare until 5:30pm. Portside offers a special sibling enrollment discount and an affordable monthly payment plan.
Art classes provide children with invaluable learning that has life long benefits. Learn about the importance of art in child development below:
Benefits of Art in Child Development
Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children.
Language Development: For very young children, making art—or just talking about it—provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions.
Decision Making: The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life.
Visual Learning: Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.
Inventiveness: When kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives.
Cultural Awareness: Teaching children to recognize the choices an artist or designer makes in portraying a subject helps kids understand the concept that what they see may be someone’s interpretation of reality.
Improved Academic Performance: A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.
The PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is in full swing at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, on its 6th day open to the public and closing on Sunday, March 8th. Portside received some very exciting news on Wednesday from the judges at the show…Our interiorscape, “The Living Room,” received 3rd place in the Interiorscape Class Competition! Portside’s staff and After School Arts Program students are over the moon with excitement, and the kids are feeling very proud of their accomplishments.
The interiorscape was designed and decorated by the Pirates (ages 8 - 11) during our After School Arts Program. They spent months creating floral arrangements, learning about sustainability, growing different varieties of plants, and exploring various recycled and repurposed materials and techniques. The kids were all asked to bring in recycled objects from home to repurpose as planters. We used objects including an old guitar, a teacup, and even a hollowed out vintage TV holding a medley of succulents and smaller plants. Many creative hands beyond the kids also contributed to the exhibit; We included an upholstered chair made by Upholstery alum Vilma Tirado, a chair made of twigs and sticks created by Portside’s Education Director Sarah’s father Salvatore Damiano, and a “fancy ottoman” made by Portside friend Bill Dankanis. Jesa Minnick, the Pirates Lead Teacher, who has a background in horticulture, was able to care for and maintain our beautiful display of plants that Portside got at Greensgrow Farms where Portside parent Meg DeBrito is the Executive Director.
The 10’x12’ room is vibrant, unique, and oozes with creativity. It gives the impression that it is a room in the home of an artist, which aligns with the intent written for the show: “This interiorscape is the setting for an eclectic person’s “Living Room.” The room includes Mediterranean inspired foliage in planters made of repurposed materials. The reclaimed materials such as the window frames and television console have been reconstructed to house plants to highlight the importance of recycling in our environment.”
During opening weekend at the Flower Show located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City, many of the students from Portside visited the show to see their creations and the creations of their classmates among the other impressive exhibits and flower displays. Even the younger students who didn’t take part in the production begged their parents to visit the display with them and support their fellow Portside friends!
expecting her first child. She began researching baby products that held up to the same ethical and sustainable standards as the products she would buy for herself, only to discover that those products were considerably hard to come by. Most of her findings were online with not many physical stores close by. She thought about how nice it would be to see everything in person and be able to touch and hold them. At the time, there was one such store on the other side of the city, so it was then that her idea for opening a hyper local neighborhood shop started to brew.
In early 2015, when her daughter was about 18 months old, Rebecca found herself talking to her good friend Rita (whose daughter is about the same age as Rebecca’s daughter) about her idea for the need for a local retail shop specializing in eco-friendly baby and parenting products. They immediately realized that they both shared similar ideas. Now that there was someone to bounce ideas off of, things began to look promising for the idea to become a reality. Rebecca also spoke about opening up this type of shop with her new parent friends in the neighborhood, all who were incredibly supportive of the idea and encouraged her to follow through. Rebecca and Rita decided to officially team up and become business partners. The shop opened 6 months later.
Since opening, the shop has grown significantly over the last five years…much like the neighborhood! Rebecca has gotten to know so many new families and has even established strong friendships with many of them. In addition to being able to promote her mission for more sustainable, earth friendly products, her favorite part of the business is the relationships she has with her customers and the community.
Not only does Minnow Lane carry a wide range of products for pregnancy to newborn through to age six - they also hold a number of reoccurring classes and workshops for new and expecting parents. Classes include infant/child CPR training, Breastfeeding 101, Childbirth Preparation, Infant Care, Child Nutrition Classes and much more! Rebecca also keeps the back area (outfitted with sofas and a kitchen) open to the community for weekly local parent meet-ups or for a place to just relax when passing through.
We love that Rebecca and her family have become an addition to the Portside family, and find her story to be an inspiration! To learn more about Minnow Lane and to browse products and classes online, click the link below.