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Tile wall to celebrate Campus Pre-School
January 25, 2012Tweet
A permanent tile wall installation will soon not only keep people connected to the Campus Pre-School & Early Childhood Center, but it will serve as an ongoing fund-raiser for the facility.
“I’m eager to see it up and on the wall,” said Peg Smith, executive director of the Campus Pre-School & Early Childhood Center. “It’s been in the works for what seems like a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing people come in who participated in the project and others who in the future may participate after seeing the end result.”
The project began last summer, as Smith and the board of directors tried to develop a fund-raiser that would get a broader group of people involved. Board member Dawn Osborne-Adams, who serves as University ombudsman, met many people who praised the pre-school when she started at Binghamton in the summer of 2010.
“I heard all of these people say how much they love the pre-school,” she said of the site that has served thousands of children and families since opening in 1971. “That’s an untapped source for fund-raising—and I bet those people would still like to be part of the pre-school.”
The initial idea of a brick walkway eventually turned into a tile “Wall of Friends,” Smith and Osborne-Adams said.
“It’s more accessible inside in the hallway where everyone can see it on a regular basis,” Smith said. “If it were bricks outside, sometimes it would be covered by snow.”
The tile-making fund-raiser is open to Campus Pre-School alumni; families of current and former pre-school students; faculty, staff and students; and community members, businesses and organizations. For a $50 gift, a donor will receive a single, 4.25-inch square tile, while a $175 gift will earn the donor a block of four 4.25-inch square tiles. Donors then create artwork, words or logos by using crayons, markers, paint or stamps (no photos) that are digitally reproduced onto the tile by Silver Graphics studio in Schenectady. A block of four tiles can have four individual artwork images or simply one image. More information and a donation form can be found at http://www2.binghamton.edu/campus-pre-school/support/index.html.
Even pre-school alumni and families living out of the area can take part in the fund-raiser, Osborne-Adams said.
“If you live in Florida, send your artwork in and we’ll send it off to the studio,” she said.
A tile-making party will take place at the Campus Pre-School from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. No advance signup is needed; donors can drop in at any time during the event and work on their artwork at stations such as painting at an easel, thumb-printing, crayon, markers and stamps, said Alexa Schmidt, a board member who serves as the registered dietitian for Sodexo Campus Services.
“We’ll have someone there to lead activities, such as group yoga, hokey pokey, head-shoulders-knees-and-toes,” said Schmidt, who added that the party also will feature food and music. “Anything to keep the body moving and have some fun. We’re trying to create a party atmosphere with the tiles, but have some other things around to entertain everybody.”
The tiles will be unveiled before the end of the semester – likely in early May – with another bash at the pre-school. Kat D’Andrea, a teacher at the pre-school, will design a mural that incorporates the tiles, Smith said.
Smith, Osborne-Adams and Schmidt all hope the Wall of Friends will continue to grow over time with more tiles as more people see it. All three agree that the fund-raiser is striving for something more than just money: a sense of community and memories.
“This is children, parents, family and friends creating something together,” Schmidt said. “It will be something that can be enjoyed every day. It’s a place where people can connect on a yearly basis and share stories about the pre-school and life in general.”