When Carmel Academy sixth grader Aviva Moss enrolled in the school’s Middle School art elective earlier this fall, she said she had no idea the course would become so meaningful for her.
Aviva and her classmates are participating in The Memory Project, an organization that invites young artists to help cultivate global kindness by creating portraits for children around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as violence, war or extreme poverty. The portraits help children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their wellbeing, and to provide a special childhood memory.
Carmel Academy’s art teacher Lori Amer said she learned about the organization at a conference this past summer where the founder spoke.
“I found it so moving that I immediately knew I wanted to bring the project to Carmel. This class is the perfect opportunity to help The Memory Project fulfill its mission,” Amer said.
Carmel Academy’s students were asked to paint a portrait of a Rohingya refugee child. Nearly a million ethnic Rohingya fled genocide in Myanmar last year and are currently living in refugee camps in Bangladesh. For these children, who have virtually no possessions, the portraits will be gifts they could never have previously imagined.
It was a serene autumn day at Carmel Academy when a group of the school's seventh and eighth graders were summoned to the science lab to deal with an "urgent" matter. The students, all part of a forensic science elective class, rushed excitedly to the courtyard where they were met with an unexpected scenario -- a mock crime scene, where poor Fred had met with an unfortunate demise. The students immediately went to work as detectives, making observations, searching for clues, discussing their theories and comparing notes. The mysterious whodunit was a way for Carmel science teacher Kelly Mulligan to introduce her students to the important work, skills and techniques used by forensic scientists.
Carmel Academy is a private school for children of all Jewish affiliations, serving children from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade.
Carmel Academy is a recipient of UJA Greenwich, the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County and The UJA Federation on New York.