Working with the art teachers in the Bloomsburg elementary schools, our Art Cart facilitator Anne Cosper put together 300 art kits for the students to work on at home; the kits got distributed on Friday, the 14th of May. More than half of the kits got delivered directly to homes along with lunches, with the rest picked up by parents while picking up lunches in front of Memorial Elementary on 5th St.

We have had all sorts of donations of all sorts of art supplies over the years, and Anne sorted through the boxes in storage here at The Exchange to find appropriate materials for this project, a homemade sketchbook and drawing implements. Anne tells the story:

“When the possibility of adding an art project to the school lunches was brought up, Tara, art teacher at W.W. Evans, mentioned her concerns that since her students’ sketchbooks were unavailable in the school, they might find it difficult to complete art prompts. I found a make-it-yourself sketchbook on line that we could adapt for the art kits. It was budget-minded as well, requiring only cardstock, paper, a craft stick, and a rubber band.

“The district provided lunch bags and we were set — all we had to do was fill three hundred of them with the sketchbook kits and other items. The Exchange is fortunate to have donors who pass along items for the Art Cart: craft stems, buttons and beads, stickers, yarn, foam shapes, pencils, markers, kid scissors — all perfect additions to the lunch bags.

“The bags took over my front room. Three hundred of them in regimented rows like that army of terra cotta soldiers in China.
The bags contained the art project, art supplies, and odds and ends from the Exchange’s Art Cart stash — an extra something for students who are coping with changes to their routines.

“While it’s nice to have my room back, my cat will miss his new-found hiding places among the bags. A big thank you to everyone who donated items for the Art Cart, to the Bloomsburg Area School District, to art teachers Tara and Kim, and to Art Cart accomplices Gini, Steve, and Lisa.

“I’m off to watch the bags go out, from a safe, social distance, of course.”

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