Alameda Kids Send Love to Paradise

Courtesy Edison Elementary School    Edison Elementary School students from Kate Flanagan’s fifth-grade class display the art they created to send to students affected by the Butte County fires.

Butte County students, families and educators displaced by wildfire received some positive messages of support from local students thanks to the Alameda Education Foundation (AEF).

AEF organized a program to produce and send more than 130 pieces of art and literature to the Butte County Office of Education to support people in Paradise, Calif., — students, families and educators —who lost their schools in the recent Camp Fire. Alameda students drew pictures and wrote poems, notes and letters to show their support. They invented word games and mazes and attached crayons and pencils to some of the art. Several students requested to be pen pals with Butte County students.

The idea for the program came from a Facebook post in which Butte County Superintendent of Schools Tim Taylor, in response to questions about how to support the school communities affected by the fire, suggested sending letters or art with positive messages that could be shared at new Butte schools and online as part of the “Butte Schools Strong” rebuilding effort.

The art and literature were created by Wood Middle School fifth-graders, Henry Haight Elementary School fifth-graders, Ruby Bridges Elementary School fourth-graders, Edison Elementary School fifth-graders, Lincoln Middle School seventh-graders and Alameda High School students. More art and literary work is expected. 

The effort is an extension of AEF’s “Art Across the Island,” which has displayed more than 2,000 works of student art in the city’s libraries and small businesses. 

“Now we have expanded this program to bring art to Butte County students in what we call ‘Art Beyond Our Island,’” said AEF board member and art curator Pam Riley Chang.