Hasten Hebrew Academy eighth graders were the $10,000 grand prize winners of the “Constitution Day, Brought to You by the ACLU” art contest sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Students were required to submit a 10’ x 10’ mural and a written piece depicting the theme “Wall of Rights.” This was the inaugural year for the contest, so the students were the first ever winners, setting the bar for all to come.
The $10,000 awarded to the Hebrew Academy will help to provide curricular materials and support the eighth grade Israel trip. Contest judges were not only impressed with the artwork students created, but also with the educational content of their entry. Below is a description written by eighth graders Hannah Glazier and Sammy Bruns of the entry created by our students.
As responsible Americans, we must educate our youth in hopes of a better future. Students need to be educated on their rights, the sacrifices made to secure those right, and how to responsibly participate in civil society. The eighth grade created the centerpiece modeled after the flag made by Jasper Johns. The flag is made up of articles about civil rights from the 1950s. Around the flag are important rights, freedoms and movements that helped to secure those rights.
In an email to the Hebrew Academy, ACLU representative Tori Mends-Cole wrote, “Our celebrity artist judge, Shepard Fairey, LOVED your students’ submission and it was awarded FIRST place! ... Congratulations again; your students did a fabulous job expressing their appreciation for the Constitution.”
On February 25 this group of proud eighth graders met representatives from the ACLU of Indiana at the Hasten Hebrew Academy to view the winning artwork and meet the students who created it. Jane Henegar, Executive Director, and Kelly Jones Sharp, Director of Communications and Education, were pleased to meet the students and were very impressed with their work.
Teachers Sarah Snider (Humanities) and Mary Ellen Fellegy (Art), who devoted many hours working with the students on both the written and art elements of the contest entry, got to meet with ACLU of Indiana representatives as well. Also present was Ellen Shevitz, parent of two Hasten Hebrew Academy graduates and the person who first told the school about the contest. Her encouragement in this and all things associated with the Hasten Hebrew Academy is greatly appreciated.