Song of Life

A collaborative work between artist Stephanie Schlatter and the third grade artists at Ada Elementary in Ada, Michigan.

Song of Life is a work about kids helping kids. The third grade children at Ada Elementary learned from Jane Kurtz of Ethiopia Reads about how the children of Ethiopia learn. The children of Ada wanted to help raise money to improve schools in Ethiopia, so local artist Stephanie Schlatter came up with this acacia tree project. In it, each child in class created a collage of an acacia tree made up of torn Ethiopian sheet music and little drawings of trees, sun, grass, and all the things you might find in an African landscape where children in Ethiopia find acacia trees. Stephanie used their little pieces as a guide to create a larger work of art – the one you see before you in Song of Life.

Acacia trees are what the children in Ethiopia see every day, a symbol of hope, strength, and perseverance often found in the desert. Those children need the inspiration of the acacia every day on their way to school. Many live on the wild open plains of Ethiopia where a daily trek to school can be tens to many tens of miles. Others live in dangerous urban environments faced with treacherous street poverty. Ethiopia Reads Art Aid raises money to build and support local schools to give Ethiopia’s children a closer, safer place to learn.

The Song of Life auction helps provide a safe haven for hundreds of these sweet children in Ethiopia. It’s kids helping kids have a basic human right to a hands-on quality education.

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela