Reaching Across the Globe through the Arts

Reaching Across the Globe through the Arts
Posted on 05/12/2021

Third grade students in Mrs. Melissa Butler’s art classes at Old Country Road School in Hicksville participated in a very special project this year: sharing inspiring artwork with children in Nigeria through The Memory Project. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to creating global kindness through art by facilitating the exchange of artworks between children from countries that are culturally very different from the USA ( 

“Our students demonstrated that friendship knows no boundaries,” commented OCR Principal Laura McConnell. Chad Wyman, the District’s Supervisor of Fine Arts, commented: “We are so proud of the work of our students, Mrs. Butler, and our PTA.”

Third graders at Old Country Road School in Hicksville participated in The Memory Project, exchanging artworks with peers in Nigeria. Here, each student holds their own artwork in their right hand and the photo of their recipient child in Nigeria in their left hand.

 This OCR third grader designed a pair of hands reaching for a star to send to her Memory Project partner in Nigeria. She is pictured with OCR’s art teacher Melissa Butler. “I was inspired by a video we saw that showed a hand,” said the student. “I decided to draw two hands and to represent all the colors of hands with different skin tones using torn paper.” 

Sixty of Mrs. Butler’s students used any art media they preferred – watercolors, colored pencils, markers, scraps of colored paper – to create inspiring, positive images to send to their partner third graders in Nigeria. The participants at OCR wrote their first name and age on the back of their artwork, attached a photo of themselves, and traced an outline of their hand. “This process allowed all participants to see the child with whom they were exchanging art, and to symbolically touch hands across the world,” said Mrs. Butler. “I just received the shipment of artwork by our Memory Project partners in Nigeria and my students are very excited to see and hold these messages of friendship and hope from Africa.”