Color project teaches students about diversityArea students learn about differences in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
BREWSTER — Worthington High School student Tony Singsaath holds a black piece of construction paper up to Apoman Abella’s face. “Is she the same color as the paper?” he asks the preschool class at Brewster Elementary School.
BREWSTER — Worthington High School student Tony Singsaath holds a black piece of construction paper up to Apoman Abella’s face.
“Is she the same color as the paper?” he asks the preschool class at Brewster Elementary School.
“Yes,” comes the chorus.
“Look closer,” he urges. He reads the class a book called “The Colors of Us,” in which a girl learns those in her neighborhood aren’t just brown, they are many different colors. The characters are the color of cinnamon, ginger and chili powder and baked pizza crust.
Students at Brewster Elementary, along with students in Adrian, Fulda and Ellsworth, spent part of their day working on The Color Project, an initiative of diversity education program Tolerance Minnesota.
The children chose from paints in a variety of basic skin colors like peach, brown and yellow and added other colors to custom-mix their own skin tone for a self-portrait.
“It’s about the children learning that skin color is not just black and white. We’re all a mix of unique colors,” explained Carrie Adams, a youth coordinator for the Nobles County Integration Collaborative, which sponsored the project.
She said the day’s activities were in keeping with the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., who envisioned a world in which character, not skin color, would define a person.
Dynamic 507, NCIC’s youth group, spent nearly two months planning the event, which also included a chain on which students wrote ways they could make a difference in the world. Not littering, helping the elderly and making people feel better, were a few of the responses.
Students also constructed a unity wreath from their hands traced onto colored paper and created an “I have a dream” quilt, with students using squares of paper to illustrate their dreams.
Preschooler Gavin Leighty’s favorite part of The Color Project was finding a color to match his hair. Third-grader Lance Marki said he mixed yellow and tan paint to get his skin shade.
“(I’ve learned) that there are a lot of colors in the world,” he said. He enjoyed the project because it allowed him to show his artistic side.
“I think they really like the project,” said WHS 10th-grader and Dynamic 507 member Cindy Avila. “They would look at their friends and … even though they looked alike, they still picked out different paints.”
To see more photos and video of the activities, visit www.dglobe.com.