Kids’ creations crafted for coffee mugs and moreStudents’ artwork can oftentimes be doomed to a lifetime on the refrigerator or packed away in storage. However a Royal Oaks Elementary program allows those pieces to be preserved in new ways.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Students’ artwork can oftentimes be doomed to a lifetime on the refrigerator or packed away in storage. However a Royal Oaks Elementary program allows those pieces to be preserved in new ways.
Original Works, which is a national program, allows students to have their artwork reproduced onto a selection of nearly 30 products. The products include: magnets, mugs, mouse pads, T-shirts, tote bags and tiles.
Original Works items range in cost from $3 up to $25.
“This is a really neat way to keep the memories,” Royal Oaks art teacher Jill Brown said.
The artwork is created by students in the classroom using the regular art curriculum. However, only select projects can be used for the Original Works program since art pieces have to be a certain size.
“It just shows them that their artwork is valued,” Brown said. “It gives them that confidence.
“I try to find ways at school to show them that I value what they’re doing, but it’s pretty cool when a parent can say that ‘You did such a nice job on this that I want to turn it into something else.’”
Once the artwork is completed it is then sent to the Original Works company where parents can order the specific products.
Brown said over the years there has generally been a pretty good turnout of parents who use the program – a lot of parents will buy the products for gifts.
Royal Oaks first began offering Original Works in 2006 as a fundraiser for the school.
Royal Oaks parent Tricia Gallahue brought Original Works to the school after she had learned of the program through a family member.
During that time, Royal Oaks’ art program was primarily supported by funding from the school’s PTA, so Original Works offered an option to bring in additional money.
Even though Original Works did initially start as a fundraiser for the Royal Oaks art program, Gallahue said it has grown to become a great program to celebrate students’ artwork.
“I strongly believe that every child is an artist,” she said. “The kids get really excited when they see their art recreated – it really opened up their little minds.
“The art program is not seen as a fundraiser but rather as an opportunity to capture a memory of our children.”