Stories, music and crafts bring families to Foundry 42
A chance to make cars that run on balloon power and listen to the story of “Rosie Revere, Engineer” brought over a dozen children and their parents from miles around to Foundry 42, in Port Jervis, on a recent Saturday morning.
After Rich Northrup played a song about Rosie Revere on his mandolin, Cherish Galvin read the tale of Rosie, who liked to invent things and was learning how to cope with failures, like the cheese hat she made to protect a zookeeper from pythons. Her great-great-aunt, also an inventor, told her that the only “true failure” is quitting, inspiring Rosie to try to make a flying machine.
Galvin, an elementary school teacher at Homestead School in Glen Spey, demonstrated how to make balloon-powered cars from a small, flat piece of cardboard, by taping wheels to the bottom and a balloon to the top. Parents and children followed her directions with varying success. But if cars failed to roll, children found that balloons unfailingly bounced and floated.
As Katie McLean, of Milford, Pa., helped her son, Hunter, 2, with putting a balloon car together, she explained how they got there. She works for a Rockland County engineering firm doing marketing, while her husband, Rich, works in Middletown for Johnson’s Toyota, so Hunter is in day care all week. “We try to do something fun on the weekend,” she said. They heard about story time at Foundry 42 from another parent.
Justine Dooley, of Lords Valley, Pa., said she heard about story time from the McLeans, who use the same daycare.
“Story time is a good time out for kids, and parents can associate and talk to local families,” she said.
Chris Palumbo and Beth Flatley began coming once a week with Ella, 2½, after they moved last fall from Brooklyn to Glen Spey, where they were glad to put their children in a Montessori School.
“When we checked out the area, we popped into the Foundry and saw story time,” said Flatley. They still work in the city but were happy for an opportunity to buy land, she said.
Jessica Barry, of Slate Hill, helping her daughter, Hailey, 2, tape wheels to the cardboard, said they had been coming to Foundry 42 story times for a year, twice a week during the summer. “Hailey loves Play-Doh, puzzles, and books,” Barry said.
“Rosie Revere, Engineer” was written by Andrea Beaty, who also wrote “Iggy Peck, Architect” and “Ada Twist, Scientist,” said Gavin. She discovered Beaty’s work when her daughter was 2 or 3, the age of many in her Foundry audience.
“Beaty celebrates the creativity of young girls and their quests to be anything they want to be, as long as they don’t give up, no matter what comes their way,” said Gavin. “I connected to Rosie Revere immediately because my grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter during World War II, working on airplanes.”
Galvin found the balloon-powered car activity while teaching third grade at George Ross Mackenzie Elementary, in Eldred, a few years ago.
“I came across the car made of recycled pieces by accident, but found that the activity could encompass many strands of mathematics and science,” Galvin said.
“The students were given instructions to measure the cardboard to a certain dimension, and they had to calculate the distance their cars traveled down the hallway. Since we were studying mean, median and mode, they could make calculations with the data they collected. The activity wasn’t in any curriculum we were using, but it augmented what we were teaching and allowed the children to learn through experience.”
When Galvin taught the balloon car activity in Eldred, administrators were unhappy that she had diverged from the curriculum, she said. But a severe car accident, when a drunk driver collided with her, resulted in a long recovery period, and she now teaches at the Homestead School, a Montessori school in Glen Spey.
“Montessori methods were running in my blood before I knew it,” she said. “And now I get to teach like that every day and at every story time.”
Free children’s book readings with music and arts and crafts are a regular event at Foundry 42 from 10:30-11:15 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday.