by Dennis Dalman
A family-fun “Drop and Shop” event will take place Saturday, Dec. 2 in Sartell to help raise funds for a trip to China by art students in June 2019.
The fun fundraiser is set from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for all children pre-school and older at Sartell High School. During the four-hour event, there will be gym activities, art projects, games, movies, music participation and a dance party. People should enter the high school at Door 5 in the front of the school.
The cost is $20 per child, with a maximum of $50 per family (immediate family members). Organizers of the fundraiser are encouraging parents to bring a lunch for their children.
In June 2019, at least 25 art students from Sartell High School plan to travel to Beijing, China for a cultural-historical tour of that ancient city. Although 25 students are signed up for the trip so far, art teacher Deb Rolling said there is enough room on the trip for 42 students. She is hoping more students will join the trip.
Rolling explained the concept for the China trip. Enrichment trips by art and social-studies students in Sartell have often involved tours of famed European cities such as Paris, Rome, Florence and more. Rolling and others contacted “Education First Tours,” which is a group that arranges affordable field trips for students. Rolling was impressed by how many options there are for art tours, besides the usual ones to the great European places.
One such new option was China. It was, she and other art instructors knew, a country that very few if any of the art students would visit in their lifetimes. It’s also an ancient country in which a dazzling arts heritage has developed throughout thousands of years.
“There is so much cultural heritage, art, entertainment and a bit of mystery about China,” Rolling said.
Students will tour the Forbidden City in Beijing, which is the site of so many ruling dynasties; the Great Wall; the Beijing Zoo; and other social learning experiences, such as meeting with school children, doing an art project there, going for rickshaw rides and eating with a traditional family.
Students who have signed up are mostly in grades 8-11 currently. There are also a couple of parents and one grandmother signed on as chaperones.
There are enough places on the tour for 42 students. Rolling said she is confident more students than the current 25 will want to join the trip.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.