Call it playground social entrepreneurship or the Tesseract Way—a group of Tesseract second graders are forming a non-profit that helps animals through art.
The non-profit, Art Animal Rescue Team, is led by Annika Sarma, Ellie Salk and Rashmi Iyengar. Their mission is to teach people to love animals. They design rock art and then sell the product to raise donations benefitting different animal awareness organizations.
The rock first launched last November at a street fair hosted by the Phoenix-based restaurant Nami and with partnerships established by Tesseract School the students were able to continue to grow their business. They managed a booth at a local children’s fair, AZ Children’s Business Fair, and planned a fundraiser at Zoyo, raising $240 for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center and the Arizona Humane Society.
Art Animal Rescue Team also donated rock art to Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development, the only local homeless shelter that allows homeless children to bring their pets. The money raised will help Tumbleweed care for these animals.
Many other Tesseract students contributed to this effort, collecting and painting the rocks, including Sofia Ratliffe, Ahva Ghazanfari, Mia Garbarino, Ava Ganz, Sophie Hatfield, Morgan Lopez, Lauren Benz, Eliza Kreitzman and Zoe Salk.
Art Animal Rescue Team plans to register their company in Arizona and launch a website soon.
Without the support from their teachers, Ms. Springfield and Ms. Caccia and art teacher Ms. Schneider and Ms.Carrie Curran of Carrie Curran Art Studio, this effort wouldn’t be possible.
Tesseract parent, Satya Sarma, is very proud of the girls’ drive and teamwork. She says, “I’ve personally witnessed the growth of these children from the interaction with South West Wildlife, the depth of their knowledge about animals and the real world connections they made. This is a unique learning opportunity that Tesseract should be very, very proud of.”
Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, located in Scottsdale, helps rescue, rehabilitate and release injured wildlife. Southwest Wildlife is the student’s service learning partner this year.
Tesseract’s signature service learning program delivers hands on learning with a large dose of inspiration. Students not only got a chance to learn about the Center’s conservation efforts and about Arizona’s local ecology, but visit the Center and have the opportunity to help prepare food for the animals. As part of their service learning project, they designed a drive that raised and donated supplies that the Center was in need of.