Raelene Campana

Raelene Campana

A story to send a message and unite the world

“It started out as a little project that just grew,” said teacher Raelene Campana just minutes before her proud class revealed who the winner was of a beautiful hand made quilt. The quilt hung gently and majestically on a blanket holder near the classroom door. It was covered in bright colours with pictures that were not just there for design, but to tell a story, send a message and to unite the world.

Some material, a theme and the enthusiasm of one class of children who attend John Allison Elementary converged into an unstoppable plan.  Once Campana brought forth the idea of a quilt building project to her class, the project metamorphosed into a project of unpredictable unity.  It was a big task for a small group of kids to take on, but with several competent hands to hold along the way, it wasn’t long before bits and pieces of material became a blanket like no other.

Expert quilters came forward.  Sharon Davidson, Rosemary Woodruff and Jennifer Nesbitt were all qualified for the job.  The students were soon making quilt squares using their own imagination to create something that fit into the theme of “We’re All the Same Under One Star.”  The end results were touching and took adults back to the basics of humanity one square at a time.

The class held a special discussion about how people from all over the world are the same and soon the ideas became art.  Drawings of families were depicted.  The basic needs necessary to survive emerged in colour front and center on each square.  Their ideas were not new, but rather the same as the the views of world leaders on what basic human rights are.  The UN had nothing on these kids except maybe a lack of innocence and purity.

“I will always remember this class for this,” said Campana.  “Everyone I sold tickets to thought the quilt was beautiful and wanted to help our with our fundraiser.  Doctors Without Borders is a really good cause and will appreciate your efforts to help immensely.”

“It has been an amazing journey,” added Davidson.  “I am so proud to be a part of this project.  This quilt is a symbol of all the good things people can do to help others.”

When the students were asked what they had learned well creating the themed quilt, they were all quick to answer.  “Hard work pays off,” said Talia.  “Other people in other countries don’t have doctors,” said Van.  “We are all the same,” responded Aidan.  “All the same under one star,” added Drea.  “Some people in other countries don’t have medicine,” observed Sylvie…. “and they don’t have a house,” added Trenton.  “It doesn’t really take much to help people,” said Quinn.  “Everybody needs love…a family to love them,” stated Kilee.  “All the pictures on the quilt are about families and loving,” responded Draven.  “People need to go to schools to learn,” concluded Sam.

The class drew a ticket on Friday morning to find the lucky winner who would be receiving the quilt that was much more than a blanket.  It held a little piece of everyone involved.  It held good juju.  It was a product of love and compassion for humans worldwide.  “We made over $1400 with our fundraiser,” announced Campana to her astute class.  “You have made us all really proud and I hope Mrs. Schroeder enjoys the quilt as much as you do.”  The quilt was won by Freda Schroeder.

An art project is never just an art project when there are kids involved.  This themed quilt is made out of love and empathy.  “We’re All the Same Under One Star” is not just a quilt.  It is a bit of each student.  It was a learning aid.  It showed cooperation.  The quilt taught the class that the best way to make change is to walk the talk.  The quilt gave each child a taste of the global community that is their home on planet Earth.  It made them see outside small town Princeton across oceans and mountain ranges, over deserts and forests, through poverty and wealth, under the flash of materialism to the most primal of true life.

They were able to recognize that no matter what part of the world people are from many human needs and wants are the same.”

The generosity of those who became involved in the project has really made the whole thing possible.  “Poppins Quilting donated backing for the quilt, Princeton and District Teachers Union donated $200 for materials , John Allison Elementary gave us $100 out of the school fund and Sharon Clarke from Lake Country quilted the whole thing together for the class for just a $100. “ stated Campana.  “Then, of course, Sharon, Rosemary and Jennifer were all really great with the kids and their enthusiasm was really contagious.  It was a joy for me to watch.  The three ladies were so kind and helpful.”

“This whole experience was truly amazing,” said Davidson.  “The kids were amazing, the quilt looks amazing…all of it…just amazing.  I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of it.”