Students at Ōrewa College have learnt a valuable lesson about the power of art to change people’s lives for the better this year, thanks to a painting project that has succeeded in more ways than one.
Not only have the artworks produced by Year 7s helped to curb vandalism at the school, they have also been sold to raise money for the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
The project started as part of the Safer Schools initiative earlier this year, when teacher Fleur Knight’s class decided they wanted to do something about balustrades outside their classroom that were regularly being vandalised.
Adopting the Circle of Influence – the act of making a positive change to influence how people think, feel and act – the students decided to design and create colourful corrugated iron panels to hang on the balustrades.
Class spokespeople Daisy Fitt and Charli Rolston said they opted for brightly coloured designs based on native birds and flowers
“We thought that if we added more colour to our school courtyard, then the area would look like we cared for it,” they said. “We invented something that everyone loved and felt welcome around.”
The idea worked, as there has not been any damage in the area since the artworks went up.
Having experienced that success, the class then decided they could make even more artworks and sell them in aid of a good cause, so came up with 12 more paintings to be sold for the Westpac helicopter.
“After all the hard work our class has done, we feel really proud to know that we can do things we didn’t even know were possible. We feel grateful that we can help save people and make environments look and feel better,” said Daisy and Charli.
They added that they were extremely grateful to Silverdale scrap merchants Tin Men, who donated all the corrugated iron, and Resene Paints’ Hunger for the Colour scheme, which provided test pots of paint in exchange for cans of food donated by the students.