Phoenix Student Artwork Makes Global Impact

A class art project that began last year with students at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School made its impact across the globe this summer.

The Phoenix Central School District’s global reach stemmed from a project last spring spearheaded by EJD art teachers Ashley Modafferi and Beth Pritchard.

As part of the Memory Project, eighth grade studio art students transformed photos of Peruvian orphans into hand-drawn portraits intended to help the children feel loved and to spread kindness throughout the world.

When the children in Peru received these portraits over the summer, a video crew was on hand to document their reactions.

For Modafferi, the joy on the recipients’ faces was rewarding and heartwarming.

“I couldn’t be prouder and more excited about this opportunity,” Modafferi said. “I had to share!”

To access the Memory Project video, visit the news section of the district website at