“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” -Georgia O’Keeffe
On March 22nd, 2013, the 5th annual One World, Many Stories event took place at Red Cedar Elementary School bringing together over 200 students, families and community members. The event was highlighted by the fact that Grammy-award winner, Barbara Bailey Hutchison was present to sing and reveal the mural that she envisioned and produced alongside the 300 students of Red Cedar.
This year, the One World; Many Stories committee chose to highlight Alain Serres’ book, I Have the Right to Be a Child, focused on the concept of human rights, specifically those outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The book was distributed to each student at Red Cedar and Ms. Hutchison spent a week at the school as an artist in residence to create a piece that signified the sentiment of the story. The piece used a grid system employed by one of America’s premier artists, Chuck Close, having every single student complete one of the 300 squares used to create a large mural. Her idea was themed off of the idea that, if we all work together we can create something wonderful.
Could there be a more perfect theme for Red Cedar?! They have created something wonderful…a supportive environment that fosters school and community connectedness. I have to say that that the words of Georgia O’Keefe rang with absolute truth as that mural was unveiled. There didn’t seem to be words that could describe the inspiring atmosphere that was present during its unveiling. Check out the excitement here: http://www.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/cache_st/1332181749/wid/_599132/uiconf_id/7796271/entry_id/1_rbfnxxhv
This whole project could not have been without the help of our partners! A BIG thank you to, East Lansing Public Library, Target, MSU Family Resource Center, MSU Residence Education and Housing Services, and MSU Center for Language Teaching Advancement. An even BIGGER thank you to Red Cedar Elementary staff and parent council.
One World, Many Stories is a community-based program for young children of all cultures. This initiative promotes family reading practices with interactive events that expose children to a variety of cultures and ideas. Selected books from the past five years the event has run highlight the importance of community participation, global citizenship and intercultural understanding.
Nicole Namy is an International Sponsored Student Advisor. Nicole has been an advisor with OISS for the past 5 years and looks forward to continued programming that works to create and inspire community.