Students at Riverview Middle are making memories -- literally.

Annemarie Baldauf, a veteran art teacher, guided her Bay Point students to really give this season.

They participated in the Memory Project, a nationwide initiative where art students "create original portraits for children around the world who have been orphaned, neglected or disadvantaged," Baldauf said in an email.

Because most children in dire situations generally have few personal keepsakes, the portraits "provide them with a special memory of their youth, to honor their heritage and identity and to help them build a positive self-image," Baldauf said.

Plus, the project helps promote "the value of sharing kindness with others."

"It's important to keep art integrated and useful ... it's (a good way) to learn about other countries/cultures."

She said the project was taken seriously by her students, most of whom "do not have a lot to give. A project like this makes me feel good about teaching art and its importance in the curriculum."

Riverview students received photos of children in need and worked in their art classroom to create the portraits. Once finished, the Memory Project delivers the portraits to the recipient child.

More than 100 students drew portraits of the same 10 Vietnam orphans. The best 10 created from the Bay Point group were sent to Vietnam. The winning artists were Katia Alvarez, Mariaeleana Becerra, Gabriela Bradshaw, Hector Fuentes, Kim Gaona, T'Odius La Grande, Kalief Hackett, Briceida Lopez, Dianea Ruiz and Olga Solis.


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The Memory Project began in 2004, and since then art students around the country have produced more than 30,000 portraits. For more information, visit www.memoryproject.org.

For more information about Baldauf's art classes, call 925-833-7144 or email baldaufa@mdusd.org

A GIVING GROUP: Laurel Elementary is half way through its school year, and already the Oakley school has gathered and given.

In its recent newsletter, the active school thanks the community "for the generous spirit that was exhibited during these past few months. There was an overwhelming response to our food drive, the Friends of Oakley toy drive, classroom service projects, penny drive and donations to our Pizza with Santa Night."

The school staff said it's grateful for all the support. "Thank you all for doing what you do best -- caring."

BAND MATES: A crab feed and tri-tip dinner is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at the fairgrounds, 1201 W. 10th St. in Antioch.

Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the Deer Valley High marching band and auxiliary.

The menu includes marinated crab, tri-tip salad, pasta, garlic bread and dessert. There will also be a no-host bar.

Entertainment will be provided by the DV jazz ensemble. Also included will be dancing, a dj, auctions and prize drawings. The grand prize is a Monterey getaway, which include aquarium tickets, wine tasting and a $100 restaurant voucher.

Tickets, which can only be purchased in advance, are $45; $10 for the grand-prize drawing. Checks should be made to DV Band Boosters and mailed to 2465 Inez Way, Antioch, CA 94531. For more info, call 925-755-2724.

If you have school news to share, contact Trine Gallegos at trineg@att.net. You can also reach Judith Prieve at jprieve@bayareanewsgroup.com