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Endeavour Students Create Sunflower Art for Peace, Ukraine

Image shows different art projects created by Endeavour students in support of peace and the Ukranian people

Our students and staff are thinking about the effects of the crisis in Ukraine, and responding with creativity and compassion.  

Two examples in recent months include Endeavour Elementary School, where every student participated in a schoolwide sunflower art project in support of the Ukrainian people; and Pacific Cascade Middle School, where leadership students planned a project to fundraise for the International Red Cross and humanitarian aid in Ukraine. 

One of two art specialists at Endeavour, Kathy Mileski, said when she was teaching in Ohio on 9/11, her students created art in honor of first responders and those impacted. Watching the crisis in Ukraine unfold, Mileski said she thought it would be a great idea to do something unifying as a school community. Principal Megan Funes put together a message that could be read to students before each art lesson, while Mileski and her fellow art specialist Kathy Pelham developed a list of art projects by grade level in a variety of mediums. 

In the message, Funes explained: “The sunflower is a symbol of loyalty, peace and longevity (long life).  All of our Endeavour Jaguars are creating a piece of sunflower art this week to support peace around the world and show our support for those who are going through a rough time. Many people around the world are showing support for the Ukrainian people because they are having to leave their homes and find a safe place due to war. Sunflowers are the Ukrainian national flower, so by creating sunflowers, we are showing that we are thinking of them and (that) we support peace around the world.” 

The projects included: 

  • Kindergarten - tempera paint sunflowers. 

  • First grade - paper collage sunflowers. 

  • Second grade - oil pastel sunflowers. 

  • Third grade - metal repoussé sunflowers with Sharpie marker. 

  • Fourth grade - giant watercolor sunflowers. 

  • Fifth grade - fused glass sunflower tiles. 

Mileski and Pelham taught some of the lessons, while art volunteers and classroom teachers taught others. The projects are now on display in the main hall of Endeavour, and the glass art is in the display cases. Together, the pieces created by the Jaguar students brighten the halls. 

“There was a lot of excitement about it,” Mileski said, noting that the students were particularly happy to see the giant sunflower go up in the hall. 

At PCMS, leadership students spent time last month talking about what a prolonged conflict and war could mean for the people of Ukraine, teacher Heidi Fielden said.  

“Students shared a feeling of helplessness and heartbreak over what was happening at that point.  They expressed a desire to help, and other staff members also reached out to me about doing something as a school and leadership class to help,” Fielden said. “We talked about raising money for an organization that provides humanitarian aid, and settled on the International Red Cross.  

The students created posters, wrote announcements, and worked with the PCMS bookkeeper to get an online donation option set up. Leadership students also collected money for about a week, outside before school.  As another option, they also provided QR codes for families to scan to donate online.   

Overall, the effort collected $873.35, most of which was cash and spare change.   
Thank you to our students, staff and community members for thinking of others – here in our community and around the world! 

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