On the white board was a series of numbers and letters. 48 for I, 16 for O, 72 for R.
The 10 children, six boys and four girls, were copying everything down on their notebooks. 18 for A, 18 for T.
That sparked quizzical looks and comments.
“A and T are both coded with 18. It’s to make it more difficult to see if we can solve the code!” exclaimed Nordelis Vega, a 9-year-old girl with pigtails, breaking it down for the other children.
The class was part of a three-week partnership between Naples Art Association’s ARTSCOOL and the Global Kids Learning Adventures, an educational program created in 2007 by Nicole and Bronze Bruland. This year, 50 to 60 kids ages 5 through 14 benefited from the partnership.
Nordelis and the other students were the “code explorers.” Not far in another classroom, were the “world explorers,” where three girls learned about the art and culture of countries around the world. On Thursday, they were making clay pots just like in Morocco.
Nicole Bruland teaches French at Barron Collier High School, while her husband teaches math at Naples High School.
The partnership started four years ago, bringing a language and science component to the ARTSCOOL’s program, which already focused on linking art and science together.
“During the clay classes for example, kids learn about mixing different products together and chemical reactions,” said Aimee Schlehr, the executive director of the Naples Art Association.
The Brulands taught four classes in July. “How to be a French artist” and “World Explorers” focused on discovering foreign cultures and languages. On the classroom wall were colorful paintings that tried to reproduce the French technique of “pointillism” — painting with a series of tiny dots.
“How to be a world scientist” and “Code Explorers” combined science, math and exploration. The children learned all about coordinate planes while playing battleship. Bronze Bruland said that he tried to apply math to the real world because “most kids are afraid of math.”
“This allows the kids to be more creative with what they learn, and it allows us teachers to be more creative in the way we teach,” said Nicole Bruland.
She added that Collier County had very few opportunities for kids to learn foreign languages, and when they existed, they came far too late, in middle school.
The ARTSCOOL program has been running for 16 years and up to 1,000 kids attend its classes every summer.