Murphy Elementary School Gives Back

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 Rosanna Riehl who is the art teacher at Murphy Elementary School in Branford, Connecticut. She used her Art to Remember fundraiser to raise money for a well in Uganda.

“Thanks to your program we paid for 3/4 of the well. it was a huge success. What was nice, we actually got footage of the well being installed and the village placing the plaque!”

We are so glad that Rosanna is sharing her story with us. We hope that you get some great insight as well:

How did you discover Art to Remember (AtR)? I discovered AtR at my first CAEA conference in my first year of teaching.

What was appealing about partnering with AtR? What appealed to me was how easy they made it sound and I was able to set my own profit margin. I also liked the wide range of items and prices.

How did you use your funds?  Our school wanted to buy a well (through the Care to Call project) for a village in Uganda who didn’t have fresh water. All the proceeds went towards buying the well. This fundraiser paid for almost half of the well.

How did you discover the Call to Care project? Two of our students were adopted from a village in Uganda, so it hit close to home. How could we not help? Their adopted mother was helping villages get wells put in. When our reading department heard about this, they decided our school theme would revolve around these wells. They chose the children’s’ book called The Water Princess. It’s a book about a girl who walks miles every day just to get fresh water and because of this, she doesn’t get to play or go to school.

How did it make your students feel to donate a portion of the funds to this project? The kids were really excited. One for the donation and one for the awesome things they could choose to have their artwork put on.

Do you plan to donate your funds to an organization in the future? This year we are going to split our funds. Half will go to the PTA so they can set up some cultural arts assemblies for the school. The other half will be donated to breast cancer research since I am a 10-month survivor.

Do you have any advice for teachers that are currently participating in a fundraiser or that are considering running one? AtR was very easy to run. I thought I’d be overwhelmed with doing the art, sending 400+ pieces of artwork in, and then sorting everything out when the orders came in. But I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. The hardest part was getting the students to create the art. For the lower grades, I did a teacher lead drawing of a Romero Britto dog and then I had them color them in any color they wanted. The older kids were allowed to do anything they wanted. Some parents preferred one art piece or another, but you can’t make everyone happy. The good thing is…I’m doing it again.

Thank you so much, Rosanna!

If you are doing something a bit different with your Art to Remember fundraiser or funds, we would love to hear from you!