Raising education funds one brush stroke at a time.


Wild Rose Elementary isn’t much different than any other public school in the state. Faced with possible budget cuts and the need for fund raising as discussed here in Metblogs this last week they are taking the steps needed to ensure they can continue to have art education in their class room. They are working on ceramic tiles that will be sold at a silent auction later this month. The 20 students doing the tiles were drawn from a random drawing at last week’s assembly.

msayers3.jpgMs Stacy Ayers arrived last year at Wild Rose Elementary taking over the job as principal. The school had just received its California Distinguished School designation and she looked to build upon that and make the school better. According to Ms Ayers “I knew finding money was going to be a problem, the budget is limited and you have to know where to look. Sometimes you have to find money outside the budget and need to know where to turn to find it.”

She found ways to raise the funds with the help of the PTA and was able to bring art classes to the students as part of their curriculum. A good start but even those efforts needed more fund than she and the PTA could find. They turned to the community to find a way to fund the coming school year.

For more on where Ms Ayers and the kids at Wild Rose found help you have to make the jump.

Ms Ayers and teacher Dana Elliot contacted Lisa Barrios and Betsy Thurmond who own art related businesses in Old Town Monrovia. They are also members of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (formerly known as Monrovia Art Festival Association) and helped them prepare a grant request to help them with their fund raiser. The fund raiser idea was to have the students produce art to be sold at auction.

betsydrawing1.jpgThe grant request was approved and we (I am a board member with the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts) thought it was a very novel way to help the schools and stretch the money given in grants. Lisa and Betsy so believed in this project they donated their time and talents to help Wild Rose get the best results with their auction. MAFA granted $500 for supplies to produce the tiles to be sold at auction.

Betsy Thurmond is owner of  Kids Art studio here in town. Betsy worked the kids to teach them the basics of drawing that they would need in order to take a drawing and transfer it to a blank tile. Later in the day she would help them with their painting techniques.


Lisa Barrios is co-owner of the Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery here in Monrovia. Lisa taught the kids how to prepare their bisque ware tiles for painting, then how to put on the colored glazes.

kidsclass1.jpgI sat there, helped a little and mostly took a lot of pictures. For a bunch of kids on a field trip they were so very quiet. Each of them was concentrating so hard on their tiles there was no chitter chatter or fooling around. It was all about learning art and doing something really interesting. I have to admit I enjoy watching them enjoy learning and was glad to be a part of it if only as an observer.

After the initial work is done by the kids, Lisa and Betsy then spend another 30-45 minutes per tile doing the fine line detail work and error fixing before they are fired. (Do the math….20 tiles is at least 10 hours additional labor by these ladies to finish the project). Once they are fired the finished tiles will be mounted into trivets and be ready for the auction.

Of course since my Joey was a winner I’ll have to be extra vigorous with my bidding to get his tile added to our collection of kid’s art. Goes for a good cause, but the memory of watching him make it will be something precious each time I see the tile.

All pics by me.  More in my flickr set Wild Rose Tile Fundraiser.

2 thoughts on “Raising education funds one brush stroke at a time.”

  1. Sad. One one hand, yes it’s a good cause and of course, the kids not only get to participate in art, but see the effects of business. On the other, they shouldn’t have to do this at all. If that’s going on in Monrovia, I can only imagine what sort of stuff will be missing in my kid’s classes here in El Sereno.

  2. Oh faboomama the only part unique to Monrovia is how our principal is tackling the situation.

    All the public schools are in the same shape as the funding comes to schools on a per capita basis based on attendance. The Monrovia myth makes some people think the city is rolling in dough and we want for nothing. Far from the truth and those of us with kids know it and put forth a lot of energy to overcome the funding short falls in our schools to give our kids the best possible we can.

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