Marking the 40th anniversary of Alex Sanger Elementary School turned into a year-long activity for students, educators and parents as they each took a turn in piecing together a quilt for posterity.
The 98-by-83 inch quilt that encompasses each student’s mark and each staff member’s name was recently completed and hung in a hand-made frame that adorns an entire wall of the school’s auditorium.
School principal Dr. Larry Allen began the anniversary celebration by asking Sue Benner, a well-known quilt artist whose child attends Sanger, if she could design a quilt as a school-wide art project.
"I thought this quilt could be a piece of art," says Allen. "It is a nice way for the kids to pay tribute to their school."
Benner set out to design a quilt that could not only involve every student, but also bring about a sense of history and of a supportive community. Each of the larger squares in the layout were painted by all the 30 classes of students under the supervision of fine arts teacher Christine Stanovich.
"I wanted to help ensure that each student could be a part of the quilt and got to display their creativity," says Stanovich.
The project was funded by supporters of the elementary school who purchased rectangular squares for either $1 or $5 for the privilege of signing their names or writing a message to the school. Supporters included current students, alumni, teachers, staff, businesses, administrators and entire families from the community.
In addition to the school name and the dates of the 40th anniversary, the borders contain the school motto and a message from principal Allen. The quilt also depicts school buses, children and crossing guards.
Once all the squares were designed, Benner and several volunteers began to hand-stitch the quilt in a Òsew-a-thon.Ó
"It took us about a day and a half of continuous sewing," she says. "Everybody was great to volunteer so much of their time."
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.