Fostering Creativity: Masons donate art supplies to Valley Forge

Published 9:22 am Friday, November 20, 2015

Star Photo/Rebekah Price   Amy pate, Thomas DAvis and Rachel Turbyfill help students open a year's worth of brand new art supplies.

Star Photo/Rebekah Price Amy pate, Thomas DAvis and Rachel Turbyfill help students open a year’s worth of brand new art supplies.

Students at Valley Forge Elementary gratefully accepted a donation of $405 worth of art supplies from the Elizabethton Free and Accepted Masons Dashiell Lodge 238 Wednesday.
Thomas Davis, chair of the lodge’s charity committee, presented the gift to a class of pre-kindergarten students, but students in every grade level will enjoy the donation.
Students’ eyes widened and jaws dropped as they pulled their new art supplies from the boxes, showing them off and passing them around. They were extremely appreciative and were eager to share their new paints, brushes and other supplies with Davis.
Art teacher Rachel Turbyfill said these supplies, which should last a year, will make the projects that she has planned feasible for students.
“It’s important for them to learn how to be creative,” said Art Teacher Rachel Turbyfill. “They’re going to have to learn to do things on their own for their futures–it’s a life skill.”
Davis said one of the fundamental tenets of free masons is charity, and they support children in a variety of ways on the national and state level.
“We asked, ‘What can we do for people here?’ and after lots of brainstorming, we came up with this idea,” said Davis.
He said Dr. Kevin Ward, director of county schools, was instrumental in directing them to Valley Forge Elementary, and subsequently to Principal LeeAnn Carr. After discussing various ways of distributing the money, they agreed that using it in one department would be best.
Amy Pate, branch office administrator at Edward Jones, is a friend of Carr’s and works in the same office as Davis. She contributed to the development of the idea to donate to the art department, and Carr said it would absolutely be the best recipient of the donation.
“They are continually making progress that students, parents and the community are proud of, and we want to help keep them moving forward by providing the supplies they need for creative development,” said Pate.
Through internal fundraising and small projects, the masons raised the money. Davis said they hope to make another donation next year to buy books, basketballs or whatever is needed when the time comes.
“This makes a tremendous impact,” said Carr. “We have a fabulous art teacher, but we would have had to hold a fundraiser to get these supplies if they had not been donated. It means the world to us.”

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