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Elementary art work travels around the world for a good cause

This one is too cool. It's the story of how elementary school artwork and other goodies traveled to another hemisphere to make life a little brighter for some less fortunate children. I'll let Mike Mitchell, art teacher from Neely's Bend Elementary School, tell the whole story.

From November 5th –November 9th students in Mr. Mitchell’s art class at Neely’s Bend Elementary School drew a “self-portrait while reading.” Besides being really good, these drawings are unique in that they have now made a 4,000 mile trip to Encarnacion, Paraguay.

Ellen Spero is a Peace Corps volunteer stationed in Encarnacion and worked with the Neely’s Bend PTO, counseling office and art department  to arrange  for the drawings to make the trip to Encarnacion and be presented to children she works with there.

Her school has a very special population of children that come from the areas surrounding Encarnacion. The majority of the children fall into the ¨at-risk¨ population because they come from low-income families, rehabilitation centers, centers for exploited children and orphanages.

Along with more than 400 drawings, Neely’s Bend students sent seven sets of popular children’s books translated into Spanish for Ms. Spero to initiate book clubs in her local schools. This project was funded in large part by the Neely’s Bend Elementary School PTO with support from the Guidance office and several teachers at NBES.

A side project sprouted from the initial idea because we caught a lucky break. Ms. Spero returned home for a week allowing us to save the cost of shipping the books. We gave her the funds we were planning to use to ship the books to buy art supplies, which helped fund an Art Camp to give some of her students an opportunity to use art materials they wouldn’t normally have access to.

Ms. Spero is finishing her Peace Corps Service soon and just sent NBES a final report about our drawings and the books we sent to Encarnacion.

What a great story! Here are some pictures from Paraguay of the donations in action.