New Richmond’s elementary visual arts teachers had an easy time coming up with a theme for their 2010 Ohio Youth Art Month project.
Their students did it for them.
“The ‘HeARTs for Haiti’ project was established after our art students saw television coverage of the earthquake damage in Haiti and wondered how they could help,” said New Richmond Elementary visual arts teacher Amy Cholkas, who joined with Monroe Elementary art teacher Adrian Hawk and Locust Corner art teacher Tim Cook to encourage their students to make a difference through art.
"Art students in each elementary school made heart related items to sell, with donations given to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief," explained Cholkas. "My art students used the elements and principles of art to design unique heart cards, pins and pendants."
The cards went on sale for 25 cents and the pins for $1 with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Haiti fund.
"Even though many of N.R.E.'s children struggle with their own financial challenges, they gathered their pennies, quarters and dollars to purchase a "heart" to help Haitian families," said Cholkas.
So far the New Richmond Elementary art students have collected donations of $418. The sale has been extended through March 31.
"From a genuine concern for others, the project evolved into an interdisciplinary lesson," said Cholkas. "Students learned about the country and people of Haiti. They learned about aesthetics and merchandising. They learned what colors, shapes, patterns and sizes of cards and pins would appeal most to students, teachers or parents?"
New Richmond Elementary students and staff honored the Red Cross during the school's '300 Minutes' reading promotion about heroes by wearing red clothes, a red cross or a heart pin to honor Red Cross founder Clara Barton and Red Cross volunteers.
Monroe staff and students collected $634.84 for the Red Cross.
"Monroe artists responded beautifully to the needs of the Haitian people" said Hawk. "Students created small heart paintings (inspired by Cincinnati artist Jim Dine), valentine cards, magnets, and recycled pins to sell."
Locust Corner raised $370 for the Red Cross fund.
"Our sixth grade art classes made special handmade magnets using color and design ideas in a wide variety of heart designs," said Cook. "Many students also worked hands on in selling the heart artworks at a variety of times this month. Many of our younger art students also made paper 'HeARTworks' for sale this past month."
Brenda Barnes' sixth grade classes at Locust Corner also donated funds raised from their valentine card sale to the Red Cross.
"The students learned hands on about economics and running a business during the sale, and used their efforts to donate to the people of Haiti," said Cook. "The students learned that their art and efforts can help others in a positive way."