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Borrow Boxes The New Homework

By Staff | Dec 5, 2017

A?POPULAR?ITEM - West Elementary Art Instructor Dan Hewitt, left, and students Shiloh Sabin, Bric Joynt and Brooklyn Fiene, from left to right, display the Borrow Boxes that students can take home and use to create art. The boxes are in constant demand by the students, especially on Friday afternoons. The boxes contain various art supplies, such as markers, crayons and colored pencils. -- Dan Voigt photo

It used to be homework was one of the most unpopular things a student could bring home from school. But at West Elementary in Emmetsburg, students are excited about bringing home a different kind of homework.

Borrow Boxes are recycled VCR?tape cases, which contain various kinds of art supplies, such as washable markers, colored pencils and erasers, watercolor paints or crayons. The items make a self-contained package that students can take home, draw and create to their heart’s content, and share with their families.

“I saw a similar idea and just thought it would be a good way to get kids to be creative outside of the art classroom,” explained Dan Hewitt, Elementary Art instructor at West Elementary in Emmitsburg. “If they have the means available, they’ll try things and that’s part of learning.”

Since introducing the Borrow Boxes, students have been very receptive, Hewitt noted.

“I’ve had to turn kids away because the boxes were all gone,” Hewitt noted. “I’d like to keep building up the number that I have available.”

BORROW?BOXES - Shiloh Sabin, Bric Joynt and Brooklyn Fiene show off the contents of Borrow Boxes that students at West Elementary can borrow. The boxes were created by Art Instructor Dan Hewitt to give students a chance to create art in their spare time outside of the school day at West Elementary. -- Dan Voigt photo

For the students, the boxes have proven to be fun, as well as educational.

“I like to take one home three or four times a week,” admitted Shiloh Sabin, a West Elementary student. “I like painting the best when I take a box home.”

“I haven’t taken one home yet, but I would like to try the markers,” stated Bric Joynt.

Brooklyn Fiene agreed. “I like to use the markers the best.”

Hewitt was able to obtain the VCR?cases and gradually began building a stockpile of supplies to outfit the boxes. Along the way, individuals and organizations have helped out by donating some of the art supplies.

The supplies are easily obtainable: crayons, washable markers, watercolor paints and colored pencils and erasers.

Hewitt and the students will always welcome contributions of the supplies, which can be dropped off at the West Elementary School Office to help spark creativity in the students.