Friday, May 18

Card for Shane

Last week I spent the afternoon with Max's 5th grade class teaching them a cool watercolor project as well as the importance of good Karma.
In the Chicago Public Schools there are no "art teachers" so the art projects that children bring home really make you question whether or not they are age appropriate or even art!
The first quarter Max got a 'C' in art and I was appauled. In our old school where we had art 3 times a week with an art teacher in an art room, Max was the star student and now with no art teacher to be found he was getting a 'C'??
I questioned the teacher about the grade and offered to come to school and "teach" the kids something more art and age appropriate. They have little time for art, so finally I asked and begged and got a chance to bring paints to class and make birthday cards for Shane.

As we passed out the materials I had a nice talk with the kids about "doing good things and good things come back to you."
It seemed like a great lesson for this age and the kids were really all ears. (suprisingly)
Then I gave them all the details about Shane and they were all excited about helping out a kid in need and in their own way being a part of the Guiness Book of World Records.

Then came the art part.
Up to this point, the most complex project I had seem Max come home with was a butterfly that had strips of colored paper weaved into the wings! Other than that it was all coloring book pages and cut and glue projects. (seriously!)
They were all very interested in the directions (again, suprisingly). And seemed to be hanging on to my every word. I gave very specific instructions with a visual demonstration and everything.

These are our watercolor cards.
All beautiful.
All made with care and attention to detail.
I didn't see one kid try to mess with the water.
Not one kid complain that the project was stupid.
Not one kid making a mess out of the paints.
It was remarkable. And totally cool.
They begged me to come back again.
Of course I said yes.
How could I not when the little girls told me I was pretty.
And they liked my hair.
Gee thanks.

When they sent the cards home on Tuesday after they had dried and were graded, they also sent home this card.
And I couldn't have been more touched and blown away by the words inside:

Thank you so much for teaching us how to do art. You are really artistic. You have a warm heart of thinking of Shane. He probably deserved it. I never knew that art is from everyone's heart.
We thank you Mrs. Collins

The whole class

Yep, art is from the heart!
How deep (and cool) is that.

So if you haven't sent a card to Shane yet, Get on it!! His birthday is May 30th, send a little something from your heart!
Details here.