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 $52 per student on CA&S- more than any other school in the Newton School District!

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.

Programs in the past few years have included a visit for 5th graders to a weather observatory, a presentation from a beekeeper for 2nd graders, an “Native American Perspectives” interactive classroom experience for 3rd graders, ocean exploration at Countryside for kindergartners and an in class experience with birds of prey provided by “Wingmasters”.

2018/2019 Creative Arts and Sciences Calendar


  • First graders met some creepy crawlers up-close this month during a presentation by a scientist from Bugworks.
  • Suzy Kline, author of the popular Horrible Harry, Herbie Jones and Song Lee books, taught second graders what it takes to be a writer.
  • Fourth grade examined the nonfiction writing process with author Greg Mone who writes for Popular Science and Wired.
  • Fifth grades enjoyed a riveting dramatic presentation by actor Valerie Tutson. Tutson uses primary documents to research the stories of women of color in colonial America and then translates her finding into short plays.


  • On Friday, December 7, Countryside welcomed the Voci Angelica Trio for an all-school concert! “Passages “ is an interactive educational performance of world folk music from nine countries and six continents. Using dialogue, colorful maps and a wide range of instruments, Voci Angelica Trio traces the migration of early humans across the globe. It was a musical treat for the whole school to enjoy!
  • Our third graders capped their mystery writing unit with a visit from acclaimed author David Kelly. Kelly, who writes the popular Ballpark Mystery series, will teach about the writing process and how he gets ideas for his books.


  • Creative Arts and Sciences focuses on the literary arts this month.  Storyteller Len Cabral entertained the children in third, fourth and fifth grades with the lively tales he has collected over his years. Mr. Cabral was awarded the Circle of Excellence by the National Storytelling Network. His presentation demonstrated how much wisdom can be found in a well-told story.
  • Grade 2 will enjoy a ride through space, time and the human body with author and urologist, Dr. Oneeka Williams. Through her engaging Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo series, Dr. Williams not only teaches science, but shows kids that girls can be strong, smart scientists.
  • Fifth graders will conclude a month-long writer-in-residence program with Andy Green of Potato Hill Poetry with a Poetry Reading on February 13, 9:00-10:15 a.m. in the Cafetorium. Parents and siblings are warmly invited to attend. The children have learned several poetic structures and penned their own pieces.


  • As the old saying goes, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” On Monday, March 11, the fifth graders will have a unique opportunity to examine the March effects of weather via a unique live feed with a Summit Observer on Mt. Washington
  • After his smash performance at the Countryside library least spring, renowned storyteller Kemp Harris will return to share his tales with the Kindergartners, first and second graders on Friday, March 15. His stories will highlight the school-wide themes the kids have been studying this year.
  • On March 22, Kindergarteners will have a writing and illustrating lesson with children’s author Emliie Boone, a perennial favorite at Countryside. Be sure to check out her stories at the Newton Free library!



  • On April 3, the fourth graders will see where mathematics and art meet in an extraordinary Origami presentation by world-famous paper-fold
  • er, Michael LaFosse. This program has delighted Countryside fourth graders year after year!
  • Marine Biologist Ellen Goethals visits Kindergarten on April 9 with a collection of animals she brings from her home on the rocky shores of Maine! Along with live animals, Explore the Ocean World uses fossils, bones and marine teeth to teach kids about the wonders of sea life and how it ties into the web of life on land.
  • Honeybees are critical to the pollination process and major part of the second grade science curriculum. On April 22, the children will learn all about bees and the art of bee-keeping in a program by expert Birgit deWeerd.


    • Second graders will top off their study of Ghana with the Day in Ghana on May 10. Incorporating music, clothes and props, this program never fails to delight children and help them make tangible connections to all they have studied in social studies this year.
    • Jim Parks rescues injured raptors and nurses them back to health. In order to teach people about these wonderful creatures, he has created a program which will come to Countryside this May. First and fifth graders will be treated to a feast as hawks and owls swoop through he gym!
    • Fourth grade will enrich its study of geology with the Geology:Rock Detectives program from the Boston Museum of Science this May. Using microscopes and the scientific method, kids will identify rocks from the Museum’s collection.
    • The Kindergartners will enjoy a day in the courtyard playing with soap bubbles on May 23! This is an excellent example of learning through play as the children cap off their study of air with a memorable Bubble Program conducted by an expert from the Boston Museum of Science.



Contact Emma Ardiff-Flaherty and Kerry Prasad with any CA&S questions or if you’d like to help out with the program.