It was an art project for all ages. NMU students, Superior Central middle schoolers and the North Star Academy. The three levels of learners painted for a cause, to keep art from fading from education. Thousands of schools across the nation are responding to the reading and math testing requirements laid out in No Child Left Behind by cutting subjects like art, which has also faced funding concerns.
"In Marquette, it's a particularly big issue and to really succeed in life studies have shown that you need to have a good background in creativity because that's how our country is run on creativity," said Alice Snively, with NMU's Leadership Fellowship Program.
While North Star Elementary scholars stretched their creative muscles, Northern Michigan University students sharpened their leadership skills. Wednesday's project was completely organized by the University's Leadership Fellowship program.
"It's really just a program that realizes potential for students who want to become leaders who already have leadership experience, and I think it's important to develop these skills at an early age because then you can make an impact on the world," Snively said.
And that's just what they did Wednesday. Elementary students were asked to design themed works of art in the spirit of the holiday season and the Marquette community. The projects will be displayed at the Peter White Public Library on Saturday with one goal.
"We wanted the community to see how much these kids are enjoying this and how important this is," Snively said.
The leadership program will continue their efforts Thursday and Friday with an anti-bullying program at North Star's middle school and at Father Marquette's middle school.