How can YOU help Blackwell art students go to Belize?

by Jordan Green

The Blackwell High School Art Department is selling a variety of goods to help its students pay for a trip to Belize in 2020, and parents are asking community members to support the students through fundraisers.

“We are fundraising for our trip to Belize in July of 2020,” Mistie Jackson, one of the group’s parent sponsors, said. “The trip can be expensive, especially for our small-town students. This trip is a great way for Blackwell students to experience another culture.”

To help pay for the trip, students are selling different flavors of beef sticks; wooden Maroon Spirit ornaments; and red, white, and blue Pura Vida bracelets. Community members are encouraged to help the department sell some of the items, Jackson said.

The department will also host a baked potato luncheon at BHS in January. The date of the event has not yet been finalized, so look for more information in upcoming editions of the Journal-Tribune.

Donations will be accepted at the event. The high school is located at 303 E. Coolidge Ave.

As a parent, Jackson said it is important for Blackwell residents to support the art department. The department is led by Ashley Heitschmidt, the school’s award-winning art instructor.

“Without Mrs. Heitschmidt organizing these trips, many students would never get to experience or see anything other than their hometown,” she said. “Blackwell has great support for the sports programs. But when it comes to anything else, everyone is too busy, burned out, or they just don’t realize the importance of supporting those students that don’t participate in sports. Without art, the world would be very dull.”

Community members may give donations to Heitschmidt at the high school. Donations can also be made to any student going on the trip, Jackson said. Donors may reach out to parent sponsors – Jackson, Rachel Brown, Christine Gummow, and Pam McCleary – via Facebook.

“We know people are ‘fundraisered’ out,” Jackson said. “But the art students need community support too. They may not be the next all-star football player or the state wrestling champion. But who knows? Maybe, just maybe, they could be the next Andy Warhol, Picasso, or CEO.”