Students at Forest Park work on creating a drawing from a photo of their sponsored student. This year, the children are from Mexico. Pictured, from left, are Yesenia Anaya, Caitlin Dorton, Shyla Wiencek and Gina Maki. (submitted photo)
CRYSTAL FALLS—Art students at Forest Park High School have joined the Memory Project, a nationwide initiative in which art students create portraits for children and teens around the world who are living in orphanages or similar homes.
Given that youths in such situations usually have few personal keepsakes, the purpose of the portraits is to provide them with meaningful mementos of their youth. The project also allows art students to practice kindness and service to others while enhancing their portraiture skills.
Students at Forest Park are participating for the second year. To do this, the students receive photos of children who are waiting for portraits, and then work in their art classroom to create the portraits. Once finished, the Memory Project delivers the portraits to the children. In total, the students will make portraits for 15 children in Mexico.
The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Middleton, Wis. Since the project began in 2004, more than 50,000 American art students have created portraits for children in 34 countries.
The Memory Project has been featured on national television several times, most notably when Katie Couric concluded her debut broadcast of the CBS Evening News with a story about the project’s success at an orphanage in Nicaragua.
The project has also been covered by several major newspapers and magazines, as well as many smaller publications in towns throughout the United States.
Anyone interested in helping support Forest Park’s students participate in this project, contact Forest Park at 875-3131 or Jennifer Vollenweider at email@example.com. To sponsor one student to receive a portrait is $15, but any donation is welcome.