Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Show For Lukah

The summer show at Kelly's Bakery and Café is on display now.  I'm excited to share this with you but needed a bit of time to find the right words to share about the show.  You'll notice the pieces look much different than my previous pieces...that's because I had a lot of help making this show!!!

 This year my class was very responsive when they heard about others in need.  They were a chatty class but they loved with their entire hearts. It was a pleasure guiding their learning during the 2013-2014 school year.  As part of our social studies work throughout the year, we had written Christmas cards for the local cancer center, collected food for the food pantry, organized the Easter Seals money collection and collected canning jars for a dearly loved teacher at our school.  As we wrapped up our final social studies lessons the kids asked if we could do one more community project.  At our career day in May, an artist came to share her artwork and poetry.  That got me thinking! I had also been thinking a lot {A LOT} about Lukah, a former softball player I had coached, whose family was raising money for a service dog.  So, this show was born!

The kids created one of a kind artwork pieces. I had a lesson on collage making and using various techniques to create depth all prepared to share with them.  One hand went up as I started teaching, "Can we draw?"  I nodded yes and went back to my excitement to share with them collaging.  Another hand went up, "But is it okay if we draw?"  Again I nodded.  Back to stippling paint and getting the edges of a torn piece of paper to disappear into the artwork. The hand that went up this time belonged to one of the best drawers I have ever had in class.  I said, "Do you just want to draw?" I already knew his answer.

We started passing out paper and explaining how to plan out your piece to allow for margins with the frame and/or mat.  The kids didn't want the mats that were in the frames. They wanted more room to DRAW! So, we just let them go. AND they created amazing pieces that reflect who they are!!! I love them all so much. This has definitely been one of my favorite shows to hang.  We finished the artwork on a Friday and then I hung the show over the weekend.  Watching their faces as I showed them the pictures of their artwork on the walls of a local restaurant was incredible.  I hope that you'll stop by the café, if you are in Bloomington, and check out their work. It will be displayed through July...or until it is sold out! The kids' pieces are for sale for $5. In addition to the kid's pieces, I am making small pieces that are $10 a piece and all proceeds from the small pieces and kids' pieces go towards Lukah getting her service dog. .

So now I get to share WHY this show is so important to me.  For 12 years, that's a long time, Emily and I coached softball for the Clinton High School team.  We loved the community and family and especially the student athletes we got to work with each season.  Emily also coached for the junior high school team and I helped with pitching when I could {my first priority has always been to my classroom and fall was a hard time to get away}. 

Our final year of coaching brought Lukah to our team.  She had worked with Emily in junior high and we absolutely adore her.  She brings a light and a spirit to everything she does. Her smile and that dimple bring happiness to the saddest of souls.  So when the seizures started, we were devastated.  Of course we feared we had pushed her too much during try-outs week. You see, Lukah wanted to make the team and wanted to do it on her talent and not that fact that we adored her. So she worked so hard that week of try-outs.  Challenged the upper classmen and gave the underclassmen a run for their money.  It wasn't only her amazing heart that won her a spot that was her talent.  We were so excited by her reaction and enthusiasm to be a part of the team, we drove home on cloud nine. However, those clouds turned dark and scary very quickly.  I can't imagine the terror the family was in as the seizures started. One here.  One there.   Another one.  It is all such a blur.  She would come to practice on the days she was seizure free and cheer on her teammates.  Then more seizures. And fear came.  How in the world do we keep this child safe? What can be done? How can we help the family? What do we if she starts seizing and we've taken her with the team to Podunkville for a game?  It was decided that she could not travel with the team unless a parent came with her.  The seizures kept coming and we watched Lukah's high school life drastically change.  Through it all though, you can still find that beautiful smile and that adorable dimple lighting up the world for others.

So, when I found out the family had found a possible solution for helping Lukah get a bit of her independence back, I kept wondering how I could help them fundraise.  If Lukah gets a service dog she will have a companion with her at all times that can protect her from the seizures. There doesn't seem to be a solution of stopping them totally but the dog will be a miracle for her and allow her to return to things she's enjoys. 
 Please check out the blog that Lukah's mother is using to share the story.  She writes from the heart and, as Andi explained to me, "I write it from a mother’s perspective looking in.  Goal is to raise awareness about the disorder (and it also is cathartic for me to write to get the feelings out J).  My wish is for someone else who is suffering to stumble upon it and find it helpful."


  1. I miss my sparkly friend!! I love the beautiful fairy dust you sprinkle onto everyone who is lucky enough to cross your path! xoxo

  2. The show looks beautiful!!! And how awesome are your students to want to be so involved!! You are teaching them such important lessons about giving back!! And I will be praying for Lukah! She sounds like an amazing kid! Nicole xo


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