BETHEL – Telstar Middle School students will showcase their musical and visual art accomplishments alongside the works of local adult artists at the school ArtReach from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, in the Telstar auditorium. The event will include a student art exhibit and sale, a chorus and band performance and a live art auction of works donated by local adult artists.

All of the money raised will be donated to the St. Bernard Parish School District in Louisiana to help them recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The show will open with the student visual art exhibit and sale, as well as the live auction preview. More than 100 student artworks will be for sale, and the live auction will include 18 donated artworks, two- and three-dimensional, in a variety of media.

From 6 to 7 p.m., the live art auction will be held, led by Superintendent Dr. David Murphy. To end the evening, music students will present a vocal and instrumental performance. In case of school or after-school activity cancellation, the event will be held at the same time on Thursday, Dec. 15.

The inspiration for the event came early in the school year when the news of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina was beginning to emerge. After the arrival of a new student, whose family evacuated from the flooded St. Bernard Parish, the “ArtReach” idea was refined to focus on helping the student’s former school. Research into the St. Bernard Parish School District, located east of New Orleans, revealed that the area was one of the hardest hit by the hurricane and flood.

Before Katrina, the district was providing high quality education to 8,800 students in seven elementary schools, three middle schools and three high schools. As the flood waters rose, one school in the district, Chalmette High School, served as a shelter for several hundred people.

St. Bernard Parish School Superintendent Doris Voitier remained at the school throughout the hurricane and for a week after the storm had passed. Every home, every church, every business and every school in the district was destroyed.

On Nov. 14, the district opened its doors. The new “St. Bernard Unified School” is serving about 500 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in portable trailer-style classrooms in the Chalmette High School parking lot.

The district has registered less than a 10th of its pre-Katrina enrollment.

The Telstar event will bring together the creative efforts of students and local artists to support the goals of the St. Bernard Unified School.


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