Kids coloring to combat cancer

We all know that art can relax the nerves and calm the soul. But at one school in Ashburn it's doing much more than that...

ASHBURN, VA (WUSA9) - Art has long been known to relax the nerves and calm the soul. But at a school in Ashburn it's doing a whole lot more.

An energetic group of 133 kids from The Eagle Ridge Middle School spent the last year designing a coloring book, that's now being sold to raise money for cancer research. 

The students are selling the books for $15, and have already raised approximately $3,600 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. A few dozen of the coloring books will also be sent to the hospital, so that the kids can use them. 

Jennifer Baxter, the art teacher thought of the idea this summer, when she was shopping for school supplies. 

"I saw the coloring books for adults," she said. "And I thought what a great way to teach about contours... So I thought what if I brought this to my middle schoolers."

From there, the idea blossomed. The drawings became a published book, and soon enough they decided to sell them for charity. The kids got to vote where the money would go. 

"All of us wanted to do saint Jude," said Bobby Tandale, one of the students. "Because we saw a video on it."

Bobby said the money will of course be helpful, but he's most excited for the delivery of the books.

"It means a lot," he said. "Like I just keep imagining the look on the kids faces when they get it."

Baxter initially published 150 of the coloring books, but they sold out in less than two weeks. She has now ordered another 100 books. 

"They're able to step outside of themselves," said Baxter. "And understand that you can take art and effect someone else." 

Grace Holmberg, another student, said it's meaningful to her. 

"Kids right now are getting treatment through art," she said. "Art can be very powerful." 

If you want to order one of these books, you can visit the Eagle Ridge Middle School website. You can donate directly here.  

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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