Creative Arts and Sciences is a city-mandated program that brings enrichment programs to every child in Newton.

A critical part of the Countryside PTO’s mission is to provide learning enrichment for our children. For this reason, we are very proud of our strong commitment to the Creative Arts and Sciences Program. Our PTO spends $40 per student on CAS- the maximum we are allowed to spend per the NPS equity guidelines.

Each program is like an in-school field trip in which experts in their fields teach the students about a grade-level appropriate lesson that aligns with state curriculum standards.

2022/2023 Creative Arts and Sciences Calendar


On Friday, November 25, 4th graders got to draw all over school walls, using blue and green painter’s tape to envision a three-part story about ancient Pompeii (before, during and after the eruption). Professional “tape artists” taught the kids about the therapeutic, collaborative and transitory nature of tape art. The presentation was organized by Creative Arts & Sciences co-chairs Karen Jacobson-Sive and Rakshaa Dadlani, and paid for by the PTO.


Our Kindergarten and 1st Grade classes were each treated to a performance by singer and storyteller Kemp Harris. Mr. Harris lives in Newton and is a former Kindergarten teacher. The children enjoyed songs including “Let ‘Em In” by Paul McCartney and “5 Little Monkeys” with accompanying sign language. They also listened to a story about how stories come to earth!


On Tuesday, January 17, all Countryside 1st graders had an in-person visit from the Discovery Museum! The Discovery Museum, based in Acton, MA, traveled to Countryside to present their “Sounds” workshop. Children learned about the concept of sound through fun, hands-on experiments of making vibrations using a tuning fork! Children observed how sound waves travel through different mediums of solid (metal objects), liquid (water), and gas (the air).


On Friday, February 3, an origami master visited the 4th and 5th grade classrooms. Michael LaFosse, a biologist and artist whose origami has been exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris, reinforced math  concepts including ‘isosceles,’ ‘scalene’ and ‘congruent.’ He helped the children make an origami  heart for Valentine’s Day, which can be used as a bookmark. The kids also learned to make a ‘hexahedral dipyramid’ – an origami triangular six-sided box. 


On March 10, 3rd graders met author/illustrator Kevin Hawkes. Kevin is an author/illustrator of over 50 acclaimed picture and chapter books, including the New York Times best seller Library Lion, Have a Look Says Book, Chicken Cheeks, The Librarian Who Measured the Earth, Dogosaurus Rex, and Weslandia. His vibrant colors, unusual perspectives, and dry sense of humor are hallmarks of his work.

Emilie Boon visited all the kindergarten classes on March 16. She read Ella and Monkey at Sea which she wrote and illustrated. It tells the story of her real-life journey from Holland to New York when she was 4 years old. She showed the children real pictures that inspired the story.

This week Countryside 3rd graders met two scientists, Dr. Susan and Scientist Aiden from Science from Scientists, and their mascot, Scimon (pronounced Scimon). Students designed and built a bridge that would safely transport 9000 “people” (a particular amount of weight) at a time!

Presentation Schedule:


Kemp Harris (storyteller) – December 6

Emily Boone (author) – March 16

Science of Bubbles – June 1


Kemp Harris (storyteller) – December 9

Science Discovery Museum – January 17

Wingmasters (rehabilitated wild birds of prey) – April 24


Grace Lin (award winning author of “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon”) – April 10

Day in Ghana – May 2

Spreading the Buzz (all about honeybees) – June 2


Kevin Hawkes – March 10

Annawon Weedon (Wompanoag man) – May 15

1 more presentation TBD


Tape Art – November 18

Origamido (origami masters) – February 3

Corey De Pino (poet) – TBD


Origamido (origami masters) – February 3

Wingmasters (World of Owls) – April 24

Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion – June 2