Images that help

Help!” went the classic tune, and a fitting theme it was as members of the Britney Spears generation made art to the music of The Beatles.

Thirty elementary and middle school students spent April 28, a day they had off from school (teacher in-service) drawing images and words designed to help.

The project was a poster for the Hood River County United Way campaign starting in fall 2003.

Using pencil, watercolor, and bright crayon, or combinations of the media, students drew healing and helping images such as smiles and nature scenes, and lettered words including “hope,” “community,” and “sharing,” in script and block letters. The event was a free class sponsored by Hood River Community Education and was held at the Coe Building.

The words and pictures will be assembled into one or more posters by artists Shelley Hight and Adele Hammond, who guided the students and also took their ideas for how the posters will look.

It’s the first time United Way has had students create its poster.

“This is a good project on a number of levels,” said Rosie Thomas-Wiley, United Way manager. “It gets kids involved, and increases young people’s understanding of what United Way is all about.”

Thomas-Wiley said she hopes to make the poster project an annual tradition for United Way, the largest social services agency in the county. Each fall United Way collects contributions from individuals and businesses and disburses the money to organizations serving children, the elderly, disabled, and other groups.

For Chris Lamaita, 11, the poster project allowed him to help the community while working in his favorite medium, watercolor.

“I think it’s good we’re doing this. It’s a way to get the word out about United Way,” Chris said.

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