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Richter art teacher making a difference

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Being the Art teacher Richter Elementary, Ms. Dana Burress gets to see all of the students in the school during specials time during the week. Last school year she wanted to do a little something extra with the 5th grader students at Richter Elementary. Since she has always wanted to write and illustrate a book with her class, she figured this would be a great opportunity for both she and the students to create a book in Art. Out of all the 5th graders, she actually had thirty- five students sign up. Together they wrote and illustrated a book titled ABC’s of Art. After seeing how successful this was, Ms. Burress made it her mission to make this an annual project with the 5th graders at Richter elementary.

Fast forward to this year. Last Christmas Ms. Burress wrote a poem about Richter Elementary titled The Best School in Texas. The entire time writing the poem, she knew this was going to be the book for this year’s 5th graders to illustrate. The number of students that signed up this year actually doubled in size. For two months, seventy students worked diligently on their chosen page every time they came to Art. The students illustrated the entire book, including the front cover. After the book was published, we celebrated by having a book publishing party at school. Each student presented their page in the book and then Ms. Burress read the book to all of them.

Ms. Burress always wants children to feel included. She believes that by providing this opportunity each year, that just maybe she is making that possible.

She would like to share the words overheard by one of the students that participated last year. While everyone was working on their page, Ms. Burress overheard a student say, “I’ve never belonged to anything this important.”

“Yep, the words of a child have inspired me forever,” said Ms. Burress.