SPRING HILL — Challenger K-8 art teacher Annie Bristol painted a graceful tree with empty branches on a wall outside the media center. The plan is to cover it with hope in the shape of ribbons.
It is called the Growing in Hope Tree, and it is being created to fight cancer.
The way to add painted ribbons to it is to donate $10 in honor of or to memorialize someone. The ribbons are available in four colors: pink, representing breast cancer; blue, prostate; gold, childhood cancers, and purple for any other kind.
The project is a joint effort between the second- and sixth-grades at the science and mathematics magnet school. The two grade levels had similar ideas, so they decided to merge.
"My job is to do the artwork," Bristol said. "I'm the worker bee."
Second-grade teacher Stacey Visceglie is coordinating the project, assisted by second-grade teacher Denise Long, with the cooperation of the two grade levels' teachers and students.
"Our goal is to raise as much money as we can," Visceglie said, "and we hope this can continue throughout the year."
The money will go to the American Cancer Society.
Bristol already plans to paint another tree on the other side of the media center entrance.
"We hope to merge them together across the hall," Visceglie said.
To kick the project off, the teachers sent letters home with students to inform their parents about the fundraiser. School district employees were also notified.
Donations are already starting to come in.
"We've sold a lot," Visceglie said. "We've sold probably over 70 ribbons so far."
"Some people donate more," Long pointed out.
She said they have received more than one $50 donation and one for $100.
Enough to keep Bristol busy, no doubt.