Finally, in November the school board passed for art to start, but only at three elementary schools in our county. The students had gone through several weeks of devastating floods at the beginning of the year, then they stepped into my room for only a couple of months to paint, draw, create animations, sculpt and discover their talents! Even though we paint, and sculpt almost daily they want more.
Daily, my heart skips a beat of what a second grader wrote: "Goal end world hunger".
These students went through horrible flooding, yet here they are focused on ending world hunger and the joy of being together. My kindergarten through fifth-grade students are honest and have so much empathy for others. As I went from school to school, this kind and compassionate attribute didn't change, because it came from the school board.
Do you remember having your school picture taken then giving it to a loved one? Now imagine never having your picture taken! Never having your grandmother be amazed by how much you have grown in just one year. My kindergarten through fifth-grade art students have that opportunity to not only give a gift of photography but create a portrait; by broadening the scope and emphatic souls, we will create portraits for the Memory project. The Memoryproject.org takes pictures of children in impoverished countries around the world and our students paint their picture. Then the painting is returned to the Memory project, who delivers not only the painting but the photograph to the amazing children around the world. This art opportunity will give my students the opportunity to study amazing artists such as Ellen Emmet Rand, Faith Ringgold, and Ernie Barnes while creating an art piece for another student around the world.
Now spiraling back around the world, lets land in a small county in North Carolina, Columbus County, where devastating flooding hit our area.
Between the relocation and the poverty-stricken stress, our students are positive, honest and excited about the arts. In these school walls, there are so many positive untold stories that need a voice and the “Neighborhood postcard project.com” is that voice. The students will design and paint in Ukiyo-e or a Japanese painting style, then write a positive note, a story of what they love about the county or a love letter to the neighborhood. Once these are finished, we archive the stories and paintings. Finally and the most exciting part of the project is to send them in the mail to the local neighborhood. Art can stop poverty by creating opportunities for growth, empathy, and confidence.
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