Students in Stephanie Birmingham’s STEAM Art classes at Five Forks Middle School are partnering with students from Syrian Refugee camps in a global art exchange called Memory Project.
Photo: COURTESY OF GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Photo: COURTESY OF GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Gwinnett students exchange art with Syrian refugee children

Some Gwinnett County Public Schools students are having an impact on children on the other side of the globe.

Students in Stephanie Birmingham’s 7th grade STEAM art classes at Five Forks Middle School are partnering with students from Syrian refugee camps in a global art exchange program. The Memory Project is dedicated to promoting intercultural awareness, friendship and kindness between children around the world through the universal language of art.

Local students are partnered with students a world away to create an opportunity for communication and relationship-building through art. The program provides students with the chance to be ambassadors, building positive relationships between the two groups. 

The students created works of art based on the themes of peace, kindness, and friendship. They were charged with communicating these themes without words, so anyone, no matter their language or background, would understand the message in the art. 

The 7th graders chose universal symbols of peace, personal symbols of friendship, and developed a unique and powerful way to speak through their art. On the back of the artwork is a tracing of the student’s hand and their age, so there is a personal connection between the students in the exchange. These works of art were then reviewed by their peers and as a class they chose which artworks best represented their message. 

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Thirty works of art were selected and mailed to Syrian children. Those children will then send works of art they created back to the Five Forks Middle students.

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