Collegiate 2nd Graders Host Eco Emporium

Collegiate School’s Weinstein Gallery transformed this week into the sixth annual Eco Emporium (formerly the African Market), showcasing handcrafted items created by 2nd Graders in the Studio Two art class.
Using a variety of papers, clay and upcycled materials, the 2nd Graders created products such as paper and ceramic lanterns, bracelets and coasters to sell at the emporium. All proceeds from their sales will go toward providing Little Sun solar lights for the students of Jam’s Academy, Collegiate’s partner school in Bertoua, Cameroon.

In addition to creating products to sell, 2nd Graders connected with children at Jam’s Academy to learn about their geography, culture, school and families. Through their study, they also learned that some people around the world do not have electricity.

With help from Dana DuMont, Chair of JK-8th Grade Visual Arts, the students embarked on a letter-writing campaign to encourage the Cougar Shop and local Hallmark stores to sell the solar-powered Little Sun lanterns. The Cougar Shop even offered purchasers the opportunity to buy one style of lantern and have it shipped directly to Jam’s Academy.

According to Ms. DuMont, the combination of creating their own products while fostering sales the Little Sun lanterns has taught 2nd Graders the impact an artist or artists can make in terms of impressing, engaging and motivating a community to action.

“They are so pleased that their letter writing and artistry have brought Little Sun solar lanterns to Richmond and, in turn, to the students of Jam’s Academy,” she said.
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