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Each student at a Vermont elementary school received a special package in the mail this month: an art kit hand-packed by their art teacher, Arista Alanis.
"May you all find joy in drawing colorful pictures!" Alanis told her students in a note packed with the art kits. Alanis conceived and executed the idea, mailing 173 art kits to the students of Johnson Elementary School.
"I wanted the students to have art materials, not only for the ‘Art for Remote Learning’ exercises, but also for a creative outlet during these difficult days of social distancing," said Alanis, who is both the art teacher and the community arts coordinator of Vermont Studio Center in Johnson.
"Creativity is one way to process all of these current challenges,” she added.
Each kit included loose-leaf paper for drawing, a pencil and colored pencils, an eraser and sharpener, an oil and pastel set, a watercolor set, a carton of 24 crayons, markers, an origami pack and more, according to a release from Vermont Studio Center obtained by the Burlington Free Press.
Many in the community pitched in to provide the supplies. The Vermont Studio Center and local resident Ellen McCulloch-Lovell helped pay for postage. A grant from the Windham Foundation, an organization enhancing the cultural vitality of rural Vermont, funded the supplies. Others helped track down mailing addresses, and Alanis’ neighbor allowed her to use his heated garage to assemble packages.