Grant brings ArtPrize puppeteer into GR schools

Sibley Elementary puppet workshop
Master puppeteer Kevin Kammeraad and his puppet Wimee hold a visual storytelling workshop at Sibley Elementary School on March 20, 2017. (Grand Rapids Public Schools)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A grant is bringing an ArtPrize performer into dozens of Grand Rapids classrooms.

Master puppeteer Kevin Kammeraad and his puppet “Wimee” visited Sibley Elementary School Monday as part of the program, paid for by a $21,350 grant from the PNC Foundation. The pair will visit all 54 of Grand Rapids Public Schools’ preschool classrooms for visual storytelling workshops, now through early May.

As part of the program, students will learn to express their creativity by turning their words into images on iPads through the Wimage app. Teachers will also be instructed on how to use puppets and animated voices to engage their students.

Sibley Elementary puppet workshop
A teacher explains how to use an iPad to translate words into pictures as part of the visual storytelling workshop at Sibley Elementary. (Grand Rapids Public Schools)

The grant will also cover the cost of providing a copy of the book “Wimee’s Words” to each child. Parents can also download the Wimage app for free in the Apple store.

Kammeraad has performed puppet theater during ArtPrize since 2011, according to the competition’s website.