New instructors for Lauri Ann West’s arts and enrichment program
A San Francisco artist and a public library program director will be leading the arts and enrichment sessions at Lauri Ann West Community Center in O’Hara.
Centa Schumacher and Erin Brennan joined the center last month as instructors of the afterschool program that offers elementary children an array of hands-on lessons from sewing and woodworking to computer programming, puppet making and outdoor play.
“I feel that exploring through experimentation is one of the best ways to learn about the world and I am so excited to be sharing that with the kids,” said Schumacher, who previously worked as an assistant teacher at the San Francisco Children’s Art Center and at the Past and Present student program at the Legion of Honor Museum.
“I’m looking forward to combining technological projects with art and craft techniques to give the kids experience with a broad spectrum of creative possibilities.”
Schumacher earned her master’s degree in fine arts from San Francisco State University. She has experience teaching every age from children to college to older community members. She served as an instructor at a makerspace called TechShop San Francisco and was a graduate teaching assistant at San Francisco State University.
Brennan comes to the center after serving as youth program director at the Manheim Township Public Library in Lancaster.
She said creativity is a must when she’s working with kids and loves encouraging them to think outside the box.
After moving to Pittsburgh, Brennan earned employee of the year honors at the Rankin Christian Center, followed by the Sustainability Award for Program Management and a 2018 National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for leadership.
She is working on her master’s of library and information sciences from the University of Pittsburgh,
“Working at the community center is the definition of fun,” Brennan said. “They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. I get to teach and play with kids every day and I couldn’t be happier.”