Art teacher's students learn to help others
She, along with her students, recently went on an excursion to Kidz Harbor, a home for foster children in Liverpool, Texas. The visit, which occurred a few days before Christmas, gave the students the opportunity to bring material goods to the foster children, but more importantly, it allowed them to spend time and bond with those individuals who most need someone to talk to.
"They had compiled a list of things that they needed, so we took this list and started accumulating things," Nemitz said. "Then we put out an email for the school. Several people contributed money, so we were able to go out there with a $10 gift card for 40 kids."
Because the students were members of the Art Club, it only made sense to tie that into the gifts they gave the Kidz Harbor residents, which they accomplished by crafting handmade jewelry.
"The purpose of our Art Club is to promote art in our school and in our community, and another thing they did was make little woven bracelets so that they were able to give everyone out there a bracelet," Nemitz said. "And the kids really liked that because that's personal."
The visit went so well, Nemitz explained, that her students were already looking forward to their next trip. Rather than waiting for another holiday, the Art Club immediately started collecting more supplies to donate to Kidz Harbor.
"It's just everyday stuff that the rest of us have and take for granted," Nemitz said. "They're already talking about what the next thing they want to do is. They want to at least go back out there and socialize and bring them some more stuff."
Nemitz, who is originally from Illinois, has been teaching at Friendswood for 31 years. After growing up in the North, one of the major factors that drew her to the Houston area was the weather.
"My husband is from Oklahoma, and when we first met, he took me down to Padre Island, and I said, 'People get to live like this?'" Nemitz said with a laugh. "I had been shoveling snow my whole life."
One thing is certain. Her students, and the children at Kidz Harbor, are glad she stuck around.
About Jan Nemitz
Occupation: Art teacher
Community Connection: Teaches at Friendswood High School
Fast Fact: Lived in Europe for a year before coming to Friendswood
Chris Marshall is a freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.