Creating coloring books for a good cause at Overlea High School


Nothing can elevate the mood as much as a bright burst of color. And when you are a child, few things are as relaxing and enjoyable as a good coloring book.

So when Overlea High School graphic communications teacher Lauren DeFeo and her students began pondering how best to use their talents and classroom skills to reach out to patients in the pediatrics ward at Franklin Square Hospital, the project they devised was a natural.

Throughout the first half of the school year, students enrolled in Overlea’s Graphic Communications Technology course used their desktop publishing skills to create a coloring book, each more than 40 pages and printed on thick, absorbent paper. They added colorful covers and bound their creations with plastic spirals, and in late November, DeFeo’s “Overlea Graphics” students donated 56 handmade coloring books to children at Franklin Square Hospital.

We printed it on cover stock so the little kids can use anything from crayons to markers to watercolor paints,” said student Dale Walston.

“And, we included a place where each child could write his or her name under ‘This Book Belongs To,’ ” chimed in another student, Essence Wharton.

The project involved plenty of skills. Once students chose a theme, they turned to cutting-edge software and a computer, printer, and hydraulic paper cutter, as well as a GBC binding machine, to produce the coloring book.
Kid-friendly themes included animals, alphabets, cars, cartoons, goblins, princesses, monsters and sports, to name a few. Each book featured a full-color cover and a dedication page.

Photo and story courtesy of Lauren DeFeo and Overlea High School.
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