Preschoolers create still lifes to save lives


News staff writer

May 4

Four students from Hood River Middle School’s “Making a Difference” class have been working with children at Bright Beginnings Preschool to create art for sale as a way to raise funds for Heifer International.

Zoe Kimball, Lexxi Ramakers, Chloe Hight and Karrie Hoag visited the preschool twice in April to teach the art of Georgia O’Keefe and Paul Cezanne to the kindergartners. The four girls have been in school together since their days at May Street Elementary; three of them went to Bright Beginnings together.

The girls began with a lesson about each artist before moving into the art room to create. The second week’s lesson was on Cezanne.

“Cezanne painted still lifes — do you know what a still life is?” asked Chloe Hight of the kindergartners. She and the other three girls went on to teach about primary colors, warm and cool colors, and other basics in painting — though many of the youngsters were already familiar with the concepts.

The children took their places in the art room where fruit and vegetable cross-sections waited to serve as still life subjects. Each child selected a melon, kiwi, orange, eggplant, or other subject to sketch and then paint.

“Draw it bigger than your hand,” the children were instructed. “One color on the background.”

The finished paintings from both weeks’ lessons will be sold at First Friday this week. They will be on display at Twiggs and funds raised will benefit Heifer International, a project working to end world hunger by providing livestock and other material goods, training and extension work, and organizational development to struggling countries around the world.

“By buying the children’s artwork you will be helping a family in need,” the girls wrote on a flyer to promote the project. “Art really does save lives.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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