Art students at Oak Hills High School participate in Memory Project

Art students at Oak Hills High School have joined the Memory Project, a nationwide initiative in which art students create original portraits for children living in orphanages around the world (www.thememoryproject.org).  Given that children who have been abandoned, orphaned, abused, or neglected often have few personal keepsakes, the purpose of the portraits is to provide them with a special memory of their youth, to honor their heritage and identity, and to help them build a positive self-image.  The project also provides an opportunity for young Americans to open their hearts to children who have endured many hardships, and to promote the value of sharing kindness with others.

The Memory Project has been featured on national television several times, most notably when Katie Couric concluded her very first broadcast of the CBS Evening News with a story about the project’s success at an orphanage in Nicaragua.  The project has also been covered by major newspapers and magazines throughout the country, all telling the story of students who have participated. 

Students at Oak Hills High School are participating as part of a course titled Digital and Alternative Photo.  To do this, the students receive pictures of children who are waiting for portraits, and then work in their art classrooms to create the portraits. Once finished, the Memory Project delivers the portraits to the children.  In total, the students will make portraits for five children living at an orphanage in Thailand.

The Memory Project is a program of the nonprofit organization My Class Cares based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Since the project began in 2004, more than 25,000 portraits have been produced by high school art students around the country.

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