A wonderful example of public-private partnerships was evidenced Friday, March 18th as 80 student representatives of the Student Leadership Council (4th – 12th grades) for the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools came together from schools across the district for their last SLC meeting in which they created art with Abrakadoodle. According to Taryn Reid, M.S.Ed, Assistant Director of Marketing, P-CCS, “The students had a grand time painting.” She described the event as a huge success and expressed gratitude to Abrakadoodle. “The teachers were great with the kids,” Ms. Reid commented and added, “The kids were super excited to have guest artist Natasha Wescoat visit and teach them how to paint her signature whimsical tree.”
Students broke into three groups during Friday’s art event held from 9 am to noon at the Allen Early Learning Academy. Students received art instruction from Abrakadoodle teachers, which focused on painting on canvas with specific projects selected by the student council: 1) Jeweled Tree inspired by Michigan artist Natasha Wescoat; 2) City Scape inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night; 3) Blue Dog inspired by George Rodrigue. Abrakadoodle provided the art instructors, art lessons and all of the art materials and supplies for the arty event. Dawna Kelly, Education Director of Abrakadoodle of Wayne County, “We were honored to participate in an event of this magnitude! The students were so creative and excited to complete their paintings. We are hopeful, that these types of projects based on community partnerships, will continue to enrich and instill leadership qualities in our students.”
The inspiration for the event started earlier in the school year when members of CDELT (the Community District Equity Leadership Team) composed of parents, business owners (including Al Kelly of Abrakadoodle), educators and members of the community who care about education meet quarterly to discuss and find solutions for such issues as helping to close the achievement gap, as well as to support opportunities for inclusion by reaching out within the diverse community. Many were unaware of the numbers of homeless families in the community. District-wide representatives of the Student Leadership Council have the opportunity to select an annual service project and chose to create art to benefit St. Vincent de Paul’s Journey to Housing program.
The event came together with the support from the school district, Abrakadoodle, as well as generous grant donations from the Giving Hope, Women’s Giving Circle and Community Foundation Plymouth. Some of the ladies came to visit during the project and had the opportunity to see the kids create art for this benefit project.
The school district will host an SLC/Journey to Housing Art Showcase on May 12th at Liberty Middle School in Canton, Michigan where the community will be welcome, along with students, families and friends, to view and bid on the creative works of art.