Back to School

With the new academic year quickly approaching we are anxiously awaiting our work with this years’ ArtLink student participants. We love seeing the various creative directions taken by the participants and helping to encourage student creative processes.

My School Bus by Aniruddh, age 12 from USA

My School Bus by Aniruddh, age 12 from USA

Earlier this week, two inspiring student projects were brought to our attention. Both stories highlight student ingenuity and creativity and we are happy to share their successes!







"Bench" by Adan, age 11 from USA

“Bench” by Adan, age 11 from USA

‘Buddy Bench’

Second grader Christian Bucks introduced his peers at Roundtown Elementary School in York, PA to the buddy bench, which aims to help foster friendships and prevent students from feeling alone.

The idea of the buddy bench is simple. If a student feels lonely or doesn’t have anyone to play with during recess they can go and sit on the buddy bench, signaling to their peers that they are looking for playmates.




Christian on his Buddy Bench

Christian on his Buddy Bench

Christian first saw a buddy bench while visiting a school in Germany when there was a possibility that his family would be moving. While Christian and his family did not end up moving to Germany, he remembered the buddy bench and approached his school’s Principal about bringing a buddy bench to Roundtown Elementary School. The Principal agreed and supplied Christian with a bench to decorate and present to his peers in a class assembly.

News of the Buddy Bench gained further media attention and was eventually picked up by The Huffington Post and The Today Show. Now, there are more than 200 buddy benches at schools throughout the USA and abroad, including Greens Farms Elementary School, one of our partner schools in Connecticut, USA.

GFA buddy bench

Greens Farms Academy’s Buddy Bench



For more information about the Buddy Bench, visit Christian’s website





A Look at my Country, by Dikitso, age 12 from Botswanna

A Look at my Country, by Dikitso, age 12 from Botswanna

One Special Rhino: The Story of Andatu

Fifth graders at P.S. 107 in Brooklyn, New York have published a book to raise awareness about the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros species and to help educate children on the importance of wildlife conservation.

Titled One Special Rhino: The Story of Andatu, the book is told through the perspective of Andatu, the first Sumatran rhino born into captivity in Indonesia. Written and illustrated by the fifth grade students, Andatu narrates his life and discusses the dangers he and his fellow Sumatran rhinos face.




RHINO bookP.S. 107 partnered with the International Rhino Foundation to produce the book, and all proceeds from the sale of the book go directly to the foundation for the care, feeding and protection of Andatu and his Sumatran rhino friends and family.

The following is an excerpt from the book:

“When there are so few of us,” Andatu says, “it’s hard to find friends to play with. This is sad to me. So I’m here to tell you about my life and ask for your help.”

The book was published in May of 2014, and is available for purchase throughAmazon:

To read more about the inspiration behind the book, please visit:

By Elizabeth Kirst




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