Chelmsford High art students create portraits for Syrian children

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (February 16, 2024) – Students in art teacher Allison Gover’s Studio 3, Honors and AP Art classes at Chelmsford High School recently had the opportunity to do something incredibly special for children all the way around the globe.

Participating in The Memory Project, a youth arts organization that promotes intercultural understanding and kindness between children around the world, the students were matched with children from Syria, for whom they created portraits. Those portraits were then delivered to the children.

“My students really enjoyed working on these knowing how meaningful they would be to the children receiving them,” Ms. Gover said.

The Memory Project was started by Ben Schumaker when he was a student at the University of Wisconsin in 2004.

“I was passionate about connecting youth around the world through art to help build cultural understanding and international kindness,” he shares on The Memory Project’s website. “Today, I continue to be inspired by all of the art teachers and students who bring their own passions to these collaborative efforts.”

The Memory Project gets its name from its first intention, which was to provide handmade, heartfelt portraits as special memories to children in orphanages.

“Now our intention has expanded to touching the lives of youth around the world facing many types of challenges, while opening our hearts and minds so they can touch ours in return,” the website states.

While not entirely sure when the project started at Chelmsford High School, Ms. Gover said she is happy to carry on the tradition.

“It really is a special project for the students, knowing that they are creating a work of art that will travel across the world to brighten the lives of children living in very difficult circumstances,” she said. “I think it is one of the most important and impactful projects we do here at the high school.”

About Chelmsford Public Schools

The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential.  This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students.  For more information, please visit