LAA Art Lesson Provides Learning and Earning

January 29, 2015 | Dwayne Stevenson

Over the years Sharon Cutz, fifth- and sixth-grade teacher at Livingstone Adventist Academy (LAA) in Salem, has used an opportunity to teach several lessons at once. Her students submitted illustrations for a calendar contest in October 2014. Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association and Marion County Public Works in Oregon had created the contest with a “Waste Not, Want Not” theme to promote recycling. In response, Cutz’s students and students across Marion County created artwork.

Marion County commissioners recognized the winners on Dec. 10, 2014, and five LAA students were among them. Sixth-graders McKenzie Haskin, Jennifer Porras, Madelyn Fish and Oscar Rinza and fifth-grader Annie Biondello each had an illustration featured in the calendar.

The students had learned the practical side of art and the importance of controlling their use of resources. Cutz, who is also a Master Recycler, says, “My students have been entering this contest for years. It has been a fun lesson that focuses on the importance of the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). This year I was blown away and very excited to announce to the class that five of them were winners for the 2015 calendar. I wouldn't be surprised if this event ends up being the highlight of the year for them.”

But this highlight included a third lesson when they found their diligent efforts were repaid with gift cards. Each winner received $100 to spend at Fred Meyer.

The students say they were even careful about how their rewards were spent.