The Norcross cluster schools, which include and elementary schools, are participating in a project called Chairs for Charity. This fund raising event will be held at the upcoming Norcross Art Fest this Saturday and Sunday in downtown Norcross on Oct. 1 - 2.
Groups and local citizens donate the chairs and stools to be used for this event. Arlene Beckles, chairperson of Chairs for Charity for the second year, collects these and then distributes them to the schools. Before they reach the students the chairs, and this year mailboxes, are “sanded, primed, and given a color base coat by parent volunteers,” explains Simpson Elementary art teacher Tracy Callas.
At a booth at the Norcross Art Fest the chairs, stools and mailboxes are auctioned off to the highest bidder. All of the proceeds from the auctions go to the local Norcross schools to help fund their art programs.
Beckles explains that, “With all of the budget cuts in the schools these days the arts programs often go first.” This project helps keep these program afloat. It also serves the students well. “We have so many students with art talent that nobody knows about,” says Beckles. “I’ll do anything to get the word out about them and this program.”
Tisha Tomsik, parent volunteer at Simpson Elementary, comments that, “It’s a fabulous way for the kids to express their talents. It develops a great sense of pride for the town to see.”
Names were drawn to select students from the 5th grade classes at Simpson Elementary school. The selected students stayed after school to decorate the chairs. They worked together in groups, deciding on the theme for their project and then got busy with pencils and paints.
One group of boys decided on a beach theme for their chair because as Matiad Collantes said, “We all love to go to the beach.” Tom Edwards pointed out where they planned to paint each shell on their chair.
At another table a group of girls was painting a bright blue mailbox, which they decided would look like a big blue fish. Fifthth grader Sidney Conners says that she’s glad to be a part of this project because she “loves to paint.”
With all of that love of painting going on there should be some good looking chairs, stools and mailboxes to choose from. When you visit the Norcross Art Fest the first week of October, stop by the Chairs for Charity booth. You can just browse or place a bid on some of this artwork produced by our local students.