Students complete cribbage art

Mansfield students display their personalized cribbage boards. From left, Katelyn Donaglia, Alysha McGraw, Caleb Wallace, Brielle Farrington, Alexa Garcia and Hayley Vargas. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)


By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Mansfield seventh and eighth grade art students completed their cribbage board project by personalizing their boards Dec. 15.

For the past several months, students learned the basic rules for playing cribbage and completed all of their course requirements, finishing the project by personalizing their cribbage boards.

Art teacher Marie Goulet has collected cribbage boards for many years from donations, at yard sales and flea markets. As a reward for completing the class, students were given boards from her collection to keep and personalize. Students could write their names, draw artwork with wood burning and dremel tools, and paint and varnish their designs.

The class was focused and engaged during the whole project, but the personalization portion was special. The students were thoroughly absorbed, enjoying this new challenge to put the finishing touches on their boards.

Goulet also encouraged them to take the time to do a good job, because the boards were something she hoped her students would keep for a lifetime.

“Their hard work paid off, they did an amazing job decorating their cribbage boards,” Goulet said.

Some boards were wood burned with pictures students drew, while others featured their names in script. Still others boasted brightly colored flowers or woodland creatures.

Eighth-grader Braydon Murison said, “It was hard work, but I’m really happy with the results.”

“It was awesome watching this project come to fruition,” Goulet said. “This was a project that I anticipated for many years. I finally found the right place, the time and students with an interest in the game to do this project. It has turned out better than I ever imagined.”

The cribbage boards were a graded project for the class. The students wrote a rubric — or statement of purpose — and the class decided how many points each portion of the project should be worth for the grade. Everyone passed the class.

What started out as a way to make math fun by challenging students and the Mansfield community to morning cribbage games, quickly became a passion for fair play, increased math skills and awesome artwork.

“Most mornings, you can hear the sound of cards shuffling,” Goulet said. “For me, that’s the sound of success.”