Preschoolers prepare for Eat Your Art Out fundraiser

S-E Staff Reporter

Students at Bright Beginnings Preschool, a private preschool located in the lower-level of St. Paul Lutheran's Church in Colville, are preparing for their third annual Eat Your Art Out fundraiser.

Lead teacher Jen Kelley started this art fundraising program at her old school in Oregon. The school needed funds for chairs and tables. Kelley knew she wanted to do something other than going door-to-door selling candy.

“I wanted to showcase the kids,” said Kelley. “I felt like this fundraiser was about the kids and the community supporting them.”

Some of the students had never had the opportunity to do art, touch clay and paint with water colors. For Kelley, the fundraiser was a chance to give students these experiences.

After moving to Colville and joining the Bright Beginnings' team, Kelley wanted to continue the program. Before Eat Your Art Out, the preschool sold Westside Pizza gift cards, which Kelley said was very successful, but she wanted to make the children integral in the process.

The idea of the art program was approved and ever since then Kelley has been inviting local artists into the classroom to teach the three and four-year-olds art. Artists will work on original pieces and create collaborative pieces with help from students.

This year's guest artists included Levi Beardslee of B2 Custom Metal Works. Beardslee taught the children the basics of metal art, with a focus on safety.

Beardslee said he likes to donate his time and work, get involved in the community and hopefully inspire others to do the same. One way he does this is through Bright Beginning's fundraiser.

Beardslee worked on multiple projects with the students. For one of these projects, students traced their arms. Beardslee will take the tracings and cut metal in the shape of arms, then weld them into a fire pit.

Included in the Eat Your Art Out auction is “Sweet Reads,” where parents partner with their children to make a dessert to go along with a children's book. These are also auctioned off with the art pieces.

This year's Eat Your Art Out will be March 30 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. inside the Aster School gym at 225 S. Hofstetter street.