Thursday, January 21, 2010

Haiti Houses

Students at Currier Memorial and Readsboro Elementary School will be coming home with "Haiti House" pins this week .  The colorful pins were generously and painstakingly created by our primary and middle school art students in response to the recent earthquake in Haiti.  Our students have donated their artwork to be turned into pins to heighten awareness of the situation in Haiti right now where food, clothing, shelter, and medical care is in urgent need.  The pins are in the shape of miniature Haitian houses.  They have a glossy enamel finish and a pin back.  We are offering them as an incentive to donate to the relief effort in Haiti.  Community members will receive a pin with each $5 donation, but of course you may donate more.  All funds raised through the "Haiti House Project" will be donated to support the needs of families and children in Haiti.  Our goal is to raise $400 this year. 
Please, give generously to this important cause.  Support families in Haiti and wear your student art pin proudly.

For more info, or if you would like to run a Haiti House fund raiser, check out this link.  Today I finished attaching pins to cards to get them ready to send home with students who would like to sell.  I tried a few different arrangements, but this is what works for us.  Four pins on a half sheet of tag board with info on where the donations are going (we chose Yele Haiti and the American Red Cross) I also included the name of our school.  I printed out the info on copy paper and cut and pasted onto the tag board. Into a large size zip lock back will go the card, and an envelope for money.  I think this will be manageable for buyers and sellers alike.  I attached the pins by punching holes with a pencil on a soft surface (in this case my living room rug).
This is what I learned by running the lesson:  if you don't want to haul your Haitian art collection into school, (I didn't) run an image search for Haitian art and choose a few examples that show colorful houses and tap-taps (buses).  The artwork really helped the kids get the Haitian vibe going in their artwork.  We spend some time noticing the use of color and pattern in Haitian art, and of course, noticing the little houses.

Have ready  finished sample pins for students to see--they are really motivated by the shiny finish.  I cut blanks for my students out of some donated mat board that I had on hand.  I showed my students how to use their scissors to trim the square blanks into a slight trapezoid shape.  We thought the slightly out of square shape gave the houses a more rustic look.
Permanent markers are clearly best for this project.  I found Sharpies on sale.  $9.99 for a set that included 8 fine point and 8 extra-fine point mini-markers.  I bought two sets and augmented the colors with a couple nice sets of Marvey Markers (because the colors are so nice and I had them on hand).  Definitely use permanent markers for fine lines and details, or the lines will run in later steps.  Seal your houses with Elemer's glue, but don't over brush if using water based markers.  Start with the lightest colors first. Make sure to color all edges (looks best in the end).  Don't forget the edges of doors and windows, too.  The project works best for grades three and up.  My youngest students are using larger sized blanks and making refrigerator magnets.

I couldn't find Enviro Tex around here and used a product called Triple Thick instead and it worked really well--I completed this step for the kids because we don't have a well-ventilated area at our school.
We've haven't even started selling yet and already people are buying pins.  If your looking for a fund raising project do try this!

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