AP and advanced art students share gifts with children in Africa


Tracy Luke

The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create portraits for youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, and extreme poverty.

Mrs. Elaine Carson, fine arts department chair, invites each of her AP Studio Art and Advanced 2D  students to create a portrait of a student from an impoverished country. “It’s an awesome experience. It allows us to see them and them to see us.”

Maxine Koda, junior, created one of the portraits. “It takes us out of our daily lives and allows us to see how others live.” After watching the video, she was happy she could bring a bit of joy to the children there.

The Memory Project organization collects photos of children and teens from global charities operating residential homes, schools, and care centers in different countries every year.

Mrs. Carson worked with the organization to get the photos and then each of the students draws a portrait from the photo. The drawings are returned to Memory Project and they are hand-deliver to the kids. Memory project creates a video of each delivery to share with all of the art students and teachers involved.


Last year, students sent their work to Cambodia and this year, their portraits went to Madagascar. 

Mrs. Carson said, “It connects them (the students) to the world.”