Ho, Ho. Ho

Dye Elementary art Fundraiser offers novel Christmas gift ideas



Dye Elementary art teacher Tina McGinnis with fifth-graders Montrel and Allana whose art she chose to turn into a magnet.

Dye Elementary art teacher Tina McGinnis with fifth-graders Montrel and Allana whose art she chose to turn into a magnet.

FLINT TWP. — Displaying children’s school work on the refrigerator is a timehonored family tradition.

But proud parents, grandparents and anyone associated with young artists can now showcase those talents in portable ways such as on a coffee mug, as a mouse pad or iPhone cover.

This personalized Christmas gift idea is offered as a fundraiser spearheaded by Tina McGinnis, an art teacher at Carman- Ainsworth’s Dye Elementary School.

She’s linked up with Original Works, a New York-based company, which bills itself as the foremost art-based fundraiser in the country and has been offering its products and programs to schools since 1989.

Now in its second year at Dye, the fundraiser was very successful last year and is expected to top that this year, said McGinnis who learned about the fundraising opportunity at an art teacher’s conference.

The basic idea transfers students’ art work onto products ranging from traditional refrigerator magnets to tote bags, Tshirts, Christmas ornaments, key chains, night lights, aprons, pot holders, garden flags, note pads, quilt blocks, coasters and more.

McGinnis takes orders for the 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of student art that are sent to Original Works to be transformed into gift products. New items offered for sale this year include the iPhone covers, pendants, stainless travel mugs and drawstring totes. Past top sellers include the refrigerator magnets, stainless steel water bottles, note cards, tile trivets and mouse pads.

Most of the artwork McGinnis submits is created in class by her students but staff members and others in the CA district have joined the fun.

Last year, one teacher brought in a drawing created many years ago when her son was young. It depicts a human skeleton with all the parts scientifically labeled. That young man grew up to become a doctor. After saving his drawing all those years, his proud mom submitted it to Original Works to be turned into a wall clock which she gave to him as a Christmas gift last year, McGinnis said.

Parents of current Dye students won’t have to wait that long to immortalize their children’s creations.

Orders this year include one of a green flower done by a second-grader whose parents have ordered, coasters, travel mugs and tote bags.

Another second-grader’s Big Red Flower drawing is going to turn up in someone’s Christmas stocking as a coffee mug and mouse pad.

And a kindergartner’s Bug on a Rug drawing is the star attraction of an order that includes a mug, magnets, key chain and tote bag.

McGinnis also places orders for works created by her students to display in the classroom to inspire other students.

Last year, she ordered a 4×5-inch magnet foraaPicasso-likedrawingcreatedbya fourth-grade student Allana. This year, McGinnis is going to order a magnet made from a Chicken drawing by fifth-grader Montrel.

Besides providing a sample of Original Works products, the keepsake magnets will be McGinnis’ mementos of Allana and Montrel who are in their last year at Dye, she said. She also has a magnet displayed in her classroom created from a drawing by her granddaughter.

Proceeds from the fundraiser helps McGinnis buy needed art supplies for her classroom.

She will be accepting orders through Nov. 12 with delivery expected in early December to allow plenty of time for gift wrapping.

Original Works has helped schools and other groups nationwide to raise millions of dollars for their causes, according to its website at www.originalworks.com.


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