The GRAND Fundraiser Idea

Sometimes I get grand ideas in my head.  And instead of just thinking about the ideas and keeping them to myself  I tell people about the ideas and the next thing you know I am swimming in the ideas looking for the dang foam float.  Yep.  But hopefully this idea will pay off LARGE. 

Let me back up my long story with this little tid bit for you.  Art teachers in our county at the elementary school level are paid for partially by the PTA.  Yes, you just read that right.  Our PTA has to bust tail to raise money to pay for my salary, and I think the school nurse.  May be wrong on that one, but definitely mine.  The county pays for X number of hours and the PTA has to make up for the rest to have me there the 30 hours a week I teach.  And they have to pay for all the supplies we use up at a rather swift pace.  So there's a little background for you and why, oh why I decided to tackle this insane fundraiser idea.

So the idea.   Each spring the PTA throws a super fun Spring Fling event.  You know the kind....carnival rides, silly games, cotton candy, DJ, cake walk (Oh my favorite), cokes, candy, hair spray the works!  It is a family night of total chaotic fun.  Alongside the crazy fun for the kiddos the PTA asks local businesses for donations for a silent auction and each classroom is responsible for a theme basket of goodies to silent auction as well.  And every year we buy 1-3 of these baskets.  Because I know this money goes to the good of the school (it wasn't my salary until this year).  We've bought a BBQ basket complete with enough A1 sauce to last me until the year 2020.  No lie.  One year we bought an awesome craft basket I think we're sitll using to this date.  I'm not saying the baskets were all bad, but enough was enough.  It was time for a change. 

So in January I emailed the president and said I needed to talk to the board about an idea.  Most of these moms know me, so they were very open to me coming and throwing my idea into the pot.  So here's what I proposed:
1.  instead of baskets for each class I wanted to create an original painting with each class, totally 23 paintings. 
2.  I wanted to use my art work as the inspiration for each of the 23 paintings with each grade level a different theme.  We decided as a group that the following would be the class themes: k-nest, 1st- bird cages, 2nd- long flowers, 4rd- whimsical landscapes, 4th-bikes, 5th- trucks, Special Ed-cake
3.  I wanted them to be framed in the salvage frames
4.  I wanted the PTA to buy the frames and ask the students for a small donation to defer the costs of these
5.  I wanted to get the images up on the school website at least 3 weeks ahead to get parents excited about this and get them to the event
6.  I wanted the PTA to get the Square app so we could take credit cards
7.  I wanted to do all this during my regular art time slots with the kids
8.  I wanted to be totally done by Spring Break.
9.  I wanted to make lots and lots of money
10.  I wanted them to trust me that I could indeed get #1-9 done exactly as planned.

And well, they loved the idea!!  So Phillip made the frames, and I picked them up as seen here:

 These are LARGE paintings.  Like the smallest is 20x20 inside frame.  The big skinny ones are an awesome 12x36!  Super great sizes.  My 5th grade helpers then rolled the wood canvas with black primer.

Once the black was dry I set out drawing the 23 canvases.  It was effortless getting these ideas out and onto the wood canvas.  I also started talking to the kids about the upcoming project and got them very excited!!

It took 2 weeks to finish all the paintings....I see the classes 3 times in a two week period.  (Except K and pre-K.  I did have to go to them during my planning periods.  I don't teach those grades.)  We set up a table in the back for canvas work and while the rest of the class worked quietly on another project I called about 3 kids at a time back to work with me.  And although not one person did more than the other they all felt a part of the process.

As the paintings were started we emailed the teachers what we were doing.  I have to say doing something NEW is always difficult.  I am still not 100% sure the teachers understand what we've done, and I know parents are clueless as to the amazing final products that the kids have made.  Every Thursday the PTA group wanders down and just grins at what transpired.  I think they too had some "is this really gonna work?" monsters in their heads.  But I stick to my word and do what I say I'm gonna do.  Even if it did burn me out of my own studio time!  Whew.  And we are all getting the auction bidding eyes on.....unfortunately there are 3 Mommas I know I'll have to contend with for Mailey's class painting!!  Maybe more!!
So here are some of the 23 paintings we'll have for sale Friday night.  I can not wait!!  I just know I'm gonna cry.  Because seeing the paintings all hanging is going to be an unbelieveable sight for these sore eyes!!

 The above bike is Mailey's class painting BTW.....I am really into kites these days!!!
So, I WILL be taking loads of pics of the night and let you know the sales totals.  I really hope we aren't disappointed.....I don't see how we can't make tons of money on these amazing works of art!!


JoyaJewelry said...

This is an amazing idea and the paintings are just warm and fuzzies beyond words!!! Good luck friday. I know it is going to be an amazing success!!! Wow!!

Darcy said...

I want to come and bid too! These are FANTASTIC! And what a wonderful, thoughtful, giving art teacher you are :-) SO impressed.

Felicia said...

Jenni, this is a brilliant idea! I hope you make way more money then the PTA's wildest dreams!
Tell me, how did you get all the kids to work on one painting? how did you divide the work?
I'm so impressed, you are the greatest art teacher, I hope they appreciate you!!

nacherluver said...


Artsy Matilda said...

Oh Jenni! You are such a gem. Energizer bunny and all. I teared up reading this. 35 years teaching dance behind me, I can only imagine how much pride you have in your heart. I hope you guys make enough money to do whatever your heart desires ... and then some! PLUS pay your salary. You are such a special spirit. Blessings to you.

Jennifer Jackson Taylor said...

Wow Jenni! The amount of work you are pushing out, on top of your full-time teaching job, oh yeah, and your life is so inspirational. Great job!!

And good luck with your sale!!

Christine said...

ALL the paintings are fabulous!!!! The best of success for your fundraiser!!! I wish I was a student in this school!

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Waseem said...

Like the idea of fundraising you have shared...I'd like to keep it in mind and will use if i need it for Discount Card fundraiser.

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