Holiday Art Fundraiser

PRESS RELEASE

Avondale Elementary PTA and South Avondale/Forest Park merchants raising funds for arts education and instructional innovation at the school

Community partnership brings new resources to support community school

Birmingham, October 29, 2012 — The Avondale Elementary School PTA and the South Avondale/Forest Park Merchant Association announced today a plan to raise $10,000 to support arts education and innovative instruction at Avondale Elementary School.

“Avondale Elementary School has a strong reputation of integrating the arts in its educational goals, and its faculty demonstrates an unparalleled dedication to meeting the educational needs of every child in the classroom,” said Dr. Anne Curry, principal at Avondale Elementary, in a meeting with the neighborhood groups. “This unique partnership brings the vitality of local shops and restaurants together with the extraordinary creativity of students and teachers to generate new opportunities for students to thrive,” Curry added.

The fundraising will feature sales of professionally printed greeting cards with original holiday-themed designs painted by students of Avondale Elementary School.  The cards will be available in packages of 10 varying designs.  Proceeds from card sales will go to support Avondale Elementary arts education programs. Cards may be purchased at South Avondale and Forest Park merchants and restaurants and online at www.avondalepta.org beginning November 16 and going through the end of December.

“To see the holidays through the eyes of kids is to glimpse the essence of the season,” said Rev. Dr. Brandon Harris, pastor at Avondale United Methodist Church, a partner organization in the project.

The November 16 Third Friday in Forest Park and South Avondale festivities will be devoted to celebrating Avondale Elementary.  Children from the school will perform at the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, holiday cards will be available in shops and restaurants, and students’ original art will be on display.

Throughout the holiday season, the students’ original paintings will be on display in area businesses, where patrons can view the excellent artwork first-hand, read a brief bio of the student artist and his or her teacher, and make an online contribution in honor of the student artist and teacher.  All online donations will be used to support the PTA’s Instructional Innovation Grant fund, which provides grants to Avondale Elementary teachers whose vision and plan for instructional innovation is creative, replicable, and evidence-based.

“We have excellent teachers whose commitment to their students is second to none,” Curry says.  “This collaboration will resource teachers to bring the best methods and strategies to aid students’ educational needs.”

Harris emphasizes that the project is designed not only to provide funding for critical programs at the school, but also to foster relationships between community and school.  He notes, “We have experienced remarkable support from merchants who are excited to be partners in our children’s education.  Professional artists from Avondale and Forest Park and students from the Alabama School of Fine Arts have also been involved, working with Avondale Elementary students on skills and techniques to plan and complete their artwork.  This is truly a community undertaking.”

About :

The South Avondale/Forest Park Merchant Association includes over 30 new and established businesses and non-profits in the South Avondale/Forest Park neighborhoods of East Birmingham. The steering team for this project includes: Rev. Dr. Brandon Harris, pastor at Avondale United Methodist Church; Marco Morosini, proprietor and chef at Silvertron Café; Bethanne Hill, local artist and PTA member; Rebecca Rodamar, PTA Fundraising Chairperson; and Laura Kate Whitney, PTA member and Birmingham blogger.

Learn more about Avondale Elementary School at Families “Reverse-Integrating” A Birmingham School (http://www.southerneddesk.org/families-reverse-integrating-a-birmingham-school/) and at the school website (http://www.bhamcityschools.org/domain/35).

Learn more about the Third Friday festivities hosted by the Forest Park/South Avondale Merchant Association: https://www.facebook.com/events/100725680082356/

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