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Students at Manhattan school give back to Hurricane Maria survivors through art project

NEW YORK—These colorful, crafty, creative and caring pieces aren't part of just any art exhibit. Every piece on display is inspired by the people of Puerto Rico.

It’s a topic students and teachers at the Stephen Gaynor School have been discussing all year.

They first held a school supply drive and a bake sale to help students at Briarmeadow Charter School in Texas, which was affected by Hurricane Harvey.

"Watching the kids so successfully do that project. We knew  as a community that we needed to take it a step forward," lower school director Michelle Fox said.

Art teacher Andrea Hochman developed a project in which the kids could create clay slabs that refelected their feelings.

"Through the conversations with our students, different themes came about. So for example, with these mosaics, the students were really stuck on all the destruction that occurred," Hochman said.

After the students finished making their pieces, Hochman told them to destroy their work.

"We actually took hammers and broke them into pieces to show them first hand experience of something that you really cared about being destroyed," Hochman said.

The students were proud of all they had accomplished.

"We made a house. You had this piece of fabric or whatever you got and then you got to put something on it that felt like home to you. And then they made it into a house," one student said.

The house, the mosaics and the other art pieces were all photographed and made into postcards.

The Gaynor School community sold the postcards and raised nearly $2,500, all to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico.

"When you give you heart to someone, you make their lives better," another student said.