National Crayon Day - Art 2 the Extreme Founder, Nicole Lewis, Visits Indy Now at Fox 59 Studio
Art 2 the Extreme® founder, Nicole Lewis, had the pleasure of speaking with Ryan Ahlwardt and Jillian Thomas, cohosts of Indy Now, about their partnership with Los Angeles based non-profit, Crayon Collection in honor of National Crayon Day.
Art 2 the Extreme (Noblesvillie, Indiana) specializes in customized and personalized crayon design for your gifting needs. Nicole was the first to create and sell her handmade rainbow crayon designs online 15 years ago and an earlier adopter of the Etsy platform back before Pinterest, the blogging boom, and before most forms of social media.
In the rainbow crayon studio, Art 2 the Extreme uses a variety of new and used crayons, often having additional supplies left over. “My rainbow crayon work is very brightly colored, so not all colors of crayons are used each week. The unused crayons begin to pile up,” Nicole shares. A few years back Art 2 the Extreme partnered with Crayon Collection to form connections with schools across the nation in need of a crayon donation for their programs. Art 2 the Extreme provides the crayons, Crayon Collection connects us with a Title 1 school in need of our assistance. In 2021, Crayon Collection and Art 2 the Extreme pledged to donate 1 crayon for every “like” their #nationalcrayonday post received, resulting in 151,571 crayons donated and 1,923 books donated to vulnerable students.
On National Crayon Day 2022, Crayon Collection announced a partnership with Penguin Young Readers on a national Letters for Change program. The objective behind Letters for Change is to write to Dr. Jill Biden about the importance of donating crayons to schools. Crayons should be reused and to reinforce the value of art education in schools. The practice of restaurants handing out single use crayons and disposing of these crayons after only one use is no longer acceptable. Instead, these crayons should be donated or recycled to benefit the millions of teachers and students who lack art supplies.
Crayon Collection and Penguin Kids have provided a lesson plan that includes everything a teacher, parent, or caregiver would need to know to write an advocacy letter including core standards, instructions, guided practice, and examples for younger grades to older.
“I am personally am on board with this project because I was an art teacher for 10 years, spending my own money at times on supplies and resources,” Nicole states. “On average, teachers spend over $900 on their own money on art supplies for students. This should not be happening with the amount of crayons there are in the world that get tossed after one use.”
Art 2 the Extreme assists in Crayon Collection’s cause by donating hundreds of thousands of crayons a year to schools and underserved communities across the nation and in their own home state of Indiana.
Between March 31st and April 22nd (Earth Day), please consider writing a letter for change to Dr Jill Biden. Together we hope to bring awareness to the need for art supplies and recycling efforts and get these resources to educators in need of free crayons, art lessons and art education resources.
Visit CrayonCollection.org for more information or to make a donation.