New York City–based author and illustrator Brian Yanish visited Jacksonville Country Day School on February 15. Mr. Yanish is a dynamic speaker who spreads the word that there are creative treasures in everyday trash. He is the creator of the ScrapKins books: Junk Re-Thunk and Build-It Book.
In addition to demonstrating how to make monsters and other objects out of recycled materials, Mr. Yanish discussed the importance of reusing and recycling. He also discussed the process of writing, illustrating, and editing that goes into making a children’s book
Mr. Yanish spoke with Pre-K 3 through 4th grade students about the creative process and shared some examples of the objects he had made from recycled items such as cardboard tubes and tissue boxes. He demonstrated a bird feeder and pirate ship made from reused milk cartons and a shark made from a recycled cardboard tube. Mr. Yanish also showed a puppet made out of a tissue box and a ukulele made from a milk carton with rubber bands.
Prior to Mr. Yanish’s visit, students were already putting his ideas into practice. JCDS Pre-K 4 students built recyclable creations with their families, which are on display in the Fletcher Library. In the Tech Lab, Kindergarten classes are building "The Parachuter," a project found in Junk Re-Thunk, to learn more about the properties of air.
Mr. Yanish began his training drawing monsters in kindergarten in western New York. He loved making things and was inspired to make art from “junk,” as he called it, because it is readily available to everyone.
In addition to modeling creative exploration, Mr. Yanish helped students to further value reading and being good stewards of the environment by recycling. The students demonstrated excellent JCDS character as they listened attentively and asked thoughtful questions.
Thanks to the JCDS Parents’ Association for their support in making Mr. Yanish’s visit possible.