Every semester, we work with a handful of teachers that take a different angle with their Art to Remember fundraiser. We love hearing their stories and getting to share them with you too.
This week, we talked to Susie Bagwell who is the art and music teacher at Priceville Elementary in Decatur, Alabama. Susie tied her fundraiser into the Piedras Blanca Light Station restoration project:
- How did you discover Art to Remember (AtR)?
Priceville Elementary had established a cooperative program with Art to Remember before I became the Art and Music teacher there. I carried on the tradition because parents wanted the great products and keepsakes.
- What was appealing about partnering with AtR?
Initially, I was quite intimidated by the Art to Remember program but after contacting the company, and receiving assistance, I led our students in a successful fundraiser.
- Did you use a lesson that was already part of your curriculum or did you create a new one?
I create new projects each year. I use online resources, fellow art teachers’ suggestions, and input from parents to decide what projects to do. I taught the elements of art through each of the chosen projects.
- How do you plan to use your funds?
I will buy art and music supplies and equipment. I will also use part of the proceeds as a community service project for the Piedras Blanca Light Station restoration project, in San Simeon, CA.
- How did you discover the Piedras Blancas Light Station project?
I wanted to incorporate a story of a lighthouse into my art lesson which involved a lighthouse. I also found that showing a short video introduced my lesson well and gave me time to quickly switch materials from one class to the next. Students watched the video as I quickly changed supplies. I learned about the project through an online video called, “Rocky, the Lonely Lighthouse.” The video explained that the Bureau of Land Management and the Piedras Blanac Light Station Association were working to restore the lantern room for the old lighthouse. I asked the students if they would like to help “Rocky” restore his lantern room. Of course they enthusiastically replied, “Yes!”
- What drew you to that project in particular?
Our school is designated a “lighthouse school” by the Leader in Me character education program created by Sean Covey. I wanted to link our connection with the 7 Habits of Happy Kids to our lighthouse art lesson. Our school also has a very large wooden lighthouse that students pass each day on their way to the cafeteria. I thought it would be great to help them learn more about lighthouses, especially since we live five hours from the closest coast. I contacted the manager of Piedras Blanca Light Station to learn more about the restoration project. Our discussion led to scheduling a Live FaceTime video tour, students creating art work for the gift shop, and our donation of our 2nd grade magnet sells to the restoration project.
- How did it make your students feel to donate a portion of the funds to this project?
Students are proud of their accomplishments. They better understand the reality of cooperative giving to produce a positive result. The students look forward to seeing the brick that will be placed in their honor at the light station walkway.
- Any additional comments?
Using part of the proceeds from the Art to Remember sales to benefit a nonprofit organization was an easy way to make a contribution. I noticed that the 2nd grade sales improved overall because more people were interested in contributing to the Piedras Blanca Light Station. I believe parents want their children to learn the importance of giving to worthy cause such as the restoration of the lantern room for Piedras Blanca Light Station. We are hopeful that we are inspiration to other schools.
Thank you so much, Susie. You are a great inspiration!
If you are doing something a bit different with your Art to Remember fundraiser or funds, we’d love to hear from you!