Friday, September 10, 2010

Alphabet Goodness

So every year at Badger Elementary, there is a fundraiser fru-fru dinner with a silent auction. And the bane of the existence of many of us is a thing called "The Classroom Art Project". Every class is responsible for putting some 'student art' into the silent auction. And, traditionally, it has been a single item. So... you have to THINK of something that can be done as a class. You have to EXECUTE the design with the children. You have to COMPLETE the project with the children. And usually you have to FUND the project.

These things are really made of Fail.

In the past, a class mom has put hours and hours and hours into something (I'm thinking particularly of a class quilt that a friend of mine got snookered into 'finishing' for the class), and then if it's not professional quality, the chances of it actually SELLING at auction for anything even approaching the cost of materials and Class Mom Time soon approach 'nil'.

Last year in Nate's class, the Russian Mob Boss was in charge of the project, put together a class recipe book (every child was responsible for bringing in a 'family recipe'), and somehow managed to rack up some exorbitant bill on color photocopying and laminating at Kinko's, which she absorbed... for the good of the cause. I think it eventually went at auction for $35 or $40 which didn't even come close to covering the costs. You add in the frustration of having to hound parents that kept 'forgetting' to bring in recipes, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

This year, there is a push to get the art projects done early, seeing as the fundraiser dinner has been moved from the late spring to the early fall. I foresee more Made Of Fail moments, although every year there are a few class moms who just seem to have inherited all the "Cool Art Projects" genes, and put the rest of us to shame.

At one point, there was an idea that maybe the kids could do something a bit more educational than just putting their hand prints into cement stepping stones for the garden, and someone mentioned that many years earlier, the kids had done a Body Alphabet in one of the classes, and the ensuing 'one of a kind' poster made from the kids doing their alpha-gymnastics went for something like $800.

Of course, this was during the Dot Com Boom, so all sorts of things were being purchased at fundraisers for inflated prices.

But it got me thinking.

What if we had the kids make alphabets, and then you could 'order' your child's name in a collage?

Like, say, this...

What do you think something like that would go for?

Yeah, the kids and I were a little busy after supper tonight. I thought "How Hard Could It Be?", and within 15 minutes was ready to completely tear my hair out.

It certainly helped me work out a whole bunch of kinks, that's for sure. There are all SORTS of ways that this can go wrong. But I think I'll offer this as a potential art project if Nate's teacher can't come up with anything. Or maybe I'll offer it to Nate's former teacher. she's always game to let me try stuff in her classroom.

If only every letter looked like this:

I need help with a lot of letters, although there were a few that worked out very well. And of course, my drop sheet was about half as big as it needed to be, what with them wriggling around on the smooth floor. And I couldn't get my flash to go off to save my hide. Better look into how one forces a flash, because a bit of fill would've made these better.

Oh well, it maybe be all for nothing, and just something that the kids look back on and say "that was a fun way to spend an evening".

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