Local high school art students and their teachers from 13 Scioto County schools created 33 portraits for children in Pakistan as part of The Memory Project.
The Memory Project is a national project that was founded by Ben Schumaker in 2004. It is a unique initiative in which art students create original portraits for children who have been abandoned, orphaned, abused or neglected and who don’t normally have keepsakes of their childhood. The project strives to give them something precious they can keep and to give them a sense of self-worth, knowing that someone cared enough to take the time to create a portrait of them. Local high school art students receive photographs of children who are waiting for portraits, then work in their art classrooms to create the portraits. The portraits have been delivered to the children and a video is being made of the event.
The Memory Project is coordinated locally by Sharee Price, gifted services coordinator at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, in New Boston, Ohio.
“In the past 13 years we have created 330 portraits for children in 12 different countries including Guatemala, Burma, Uganda, Indonesia, Ecuador, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Madagascar, Syria, the Philippines, and Pakistan,” Price said.
Thirty-three portraits were created this year by students and teachers from Clay, East, Green, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Notre Dame, Oak Hill, Portsmouth, South Webster, Valley, West, and Wheelersburg schools. Participants included Alyssa Piccolo, Shannon Conley, Amber Burton, Hannah Thurman, Keri Callihan, Millie West, Joyce Zheng, Gabrielle Deacon, Ren Bailey, Ms. Kelly Emmons, Audrey Litteral, Ms. Kate Claxon, Hannah Bailey, Mr. Charlie Haskins, Kailyn Neal, Kim Stanley, J.J. Cooper, Erica Cade, Ms. Kelly Montgomery, Riley Galloway, Trista Montgomery, Gracie Mason, Cecilia Barajas, Tylan Osborne, Shay Newsome, Alexandria Peterman, Andy Arnett, Alissa Garrett, Isabella Fitch, Lexus Oiler, Samantha Oiler, Taylen Hickman, and Brandace Pack.
“The Memory Project is dedicated to promoting intercultural awareness, friendship, and kindness between children around the world through the universal language of art. Since 2004 over 250,000 youth have been involved in the programs provided through the Memory Project. This project is an important one, it allows our students to use their artistic talents to make a difference in others’ lives. I believe our students feel a true connection to the children for whom they are creating portraits and a sense of accomplishment when they complete them,” Price said.
For more information about the Memory Project or the South Central Ohio ESC, find them online at www.scoesc.org, or follow the ESC on Facebook and Twitter.
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