Niagara Gazette


April 24, 2014

Starpoint crafts a fundraising event

Niagara Gazette — Some Starpoint students have been getting a little extra crafty over the past two months.

The school will host its first arts and crafts fair this Saturday, with handmade items on display and for sale by students in kindergarten through grade 12.

The fair was the brainchild of middle school art teacher Kelly Tomasello and local artist Leif Leavesly, who was inspired by watching his 10-year-old daughter crafting various objects and selling them to her friends and family. Tomasello is Nova’s aunt.

“We just came up with the idea two months ago, and at first we were only expecting about 10 kids to want to participate,” Tomasello explained. “They just signed up like crazy, and now we have 60 kids making crafts to sell.”

The idea is to inspire students to use their hands to make something, while also learning fundamental small business skills, Leavesly said. Leavesly is an artist, sculptor and craftsman who was raised in Newfane and now operates out of Lewiston.

“It’s a way for kids to use their creativity, and also hopefully spend time with a family member to be taught how to make something,” Leavesly said.

After the fair is over, parents might be able to explain profit margins to their children by showing them how much they’ve made after accounting for supply costs and table fees, Leavesly explained.

A majority of students signed up are in fourth or fifth grade, and there has been plenty of positive feedback, Tomasello said.

“I’ve had a lot of calls from parents saying how much their kids are enjoying sitting down and crafting,” Tomasello said.

Her daughter is also participating in the craft fair.

“She’s spent about two days making jewelry or sewing instead of watching TV,” Tomasello said.

Leavesly says he hopes that the fair will inspire other schools in Niagara County to host their own.

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