Whittier students create "Milagros" in support of Boston Marathon runners

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By Community Editor

Courtesy Jill Goldstein

A group of 2nd grade students from Whittier Elementary School recently completed an art project showing their support for those affected by the recent events that took place during the Boston Marathon. These second graders collaborated with Guillermo Delgado as part of the Oak Park Education Foundation's Art Start program.

They combined their recently acquired knowledge of Milagros as healing art and the awareness of current events. The tradition of Milagros can be found throughout Mexico, Latin America and the Southwestern United States. Mr. Delgado has been the Art Start artist working with the K-2 Multiage classes at Whittier for 10 years. Second graders from Mrs. Druckmiller, Mrs. Nelson and Ms. Dunn's classes worked with Mr. Delgado to pair the creative arts with curriculum in the classroom, in this case, social studies. The students recently took a field trip to the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and learned how various styles of "healing artwork" can bring people together. They began by creating traditional hand shaped Milagros out of lightweight pliable metal sheets. After the violence in Boston, the class decided to use this art form to create healing connections to those in the Boston area, and altered their work from hand shapes to those of running shoes.

The next goal was to ensure the work be viewed by a greater public. Tim Eggert, owner and operator of The Competitive Foot, 102 N. Marion Street, was very receptive to the idea of displaying the student work in his store window. Having recently celebrated 39 years in business, Mr. Eggert thought that the student work fit well with his philosophy of creating community through collaboration.

The Milagros will be on display until Tuesday, May 7th in the west window at he Competitive Foot.

The Oak Park Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that develops and funds curriculum-enriching programs in District 97 schools. Its innovative programs include Architecture Adventure, Art Start, Geared Up, Science Alliance and VEX Robotics, as well as the summer program BASE Camp.

To learn more about the display or Art Start, contact Jill Kramer Goldstein at 708-917-1737 or jkgoldstein@opef.org. To learn more about the Oak Park Education Foundation, contact Deb Abrahamson at 708-524-3023, dabrahamson@op97.org, or visit www.opef.org.

To learn more about the merchandise or running programs at he Competitive Foot, call 708-524-0030, email them at info@competitivefoot.com or visit the store at 102 N. Marion Street in Oak Park.

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