PS 255 holiday craft night

They’re crafty! PS 255 teaches kids the art of resourcefulness

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Photo gallery

Picture perfect: Ashley Rodriguez, 4, and mom Laura Lima color a picture to put in a frame at PS 255’s holiday craft night.
Pick a color: Second-grader Iman Hasan and her mom, Rabia Azhar, color a card.
It’s a wonderful wreath: Fourth-grader Duygu Kondakci and her dad, Mehnet, make wreaths out of old wire hangers.
Kid incentive: The school gives kids who attend its night events a “no homework” pass, redeemable for that night’s homework only. Second-grader Melanie Cuautle celebrates receiving hers.

A Gravesend school is teaching kids the art of gift-making from scratch as part of a do-it-yourself holiday craft night that is one of the most popular — and important — events of the year.

“For a lot of our families, both parents work and they don’t have a lot of time to spend with their children,” said PS 255 teacher Kate Purdue, who helped plan the event that is atteneded by 350 to 400 parents a year. “We tell everyone to turn cellphones off to make sure that everyone is unplugged and spends some time with the children.”

The younger kids at the pre-K-through-fifth-grade school made presents such as gift bags, frames, and puzzles, while the older ones made wreaths out of ribbon and old wire hangers, and bulletin boards with cloth and cardboard — all crafts meant to be easily replicable at home without too much of a fuss.

“An event like this is meant to give families ideas for when they do have a spare moment,” said Purdue, who said that art teacher Miriam Rankin works hard to source the right materials. “We try and think of activities and materials that they can do at home.”

And kids have an added incentive to show up: the school offers “no homework” passes to get out of doing work at home, redeemable the next day in class.

“Those are a big deal here, they’re offered at every night event,” said Purdue.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at

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