Week of the Arts

winter wonderland

Sophomores Ella and Molly entered the cafeteria fourth period and took in its transformation with sparkling eyes. There were twinkling lights strung from the ceiling, the sounds of holiday music and everyone was busy creating with cookies and candy. The students picked up their gingerbread house kit from the table by the door, filled a bag with the works—fruit pebbles, mints, Skittles, chocolate kisses, gum drops, marshmallow snowmen—and got to work.

This was the annual Winter Wonderland, an extravaganza hosted by John Jay’s PTO. It’s a celebration meant to bring students together, explained PTO co-president Josephine Berisha. The PTO purchased 250 gingerbread house kits plus all of the fixings and provided breakfast treats and hot chocolate for all students.

students create gingerbread houses

A week-long Celebration of visual and performing arts

Winter Wonderland is one of many festive events during the John Jay's Week of the Arts, a school tradition in the days preceding winter break. 

“Week of the Arts is an opportunity for our Visual & Performing Arts students and their teachers to showcase their hard work and talent,” said Assistant Principal Vinnie Bell, the administrative liaison to the arts. “Instructionally, for many students this is their first public appearance in front of a live audience.”

While students created their gingerbread houses, student groups including Vocal Jazz and the John Jay Orchestra performed. Other events during the week included showcases by student actors and artists.

a showcase of visual arts

john jay vocal jazz

John Jay Wolf Ice Sculpture

a festive tradition that brings students together

Sounds of power tools beyond the cafeteria doors brought students outside to discover an ice sculptor carving what else but a howling John Jay Wolf!

“We’ve been working hard and this is a great mental break,” said Ella. “Plus, it’s super fun,” said Molly.  

The gingerbread houses were transported by local National Charity League members and donated to the Community Center of Northern Westchester, bringing more good feelings to the Katonah-Lewisboro community.

Thank you to the John Jay PTO, parents Lisa Valdes, Josephine Berisha, Paul Kuszynski and many others who put this holiday extravaganza together for John Jay students! More photos @klschools on Facebook.