PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)-- What started out as a simple art project has inspired some fifth grade students from Phoenix Country Day School for a lifetime.
After realizing an Ohio Paint Company’s “Birthday Suit” color didn’t represent the skin tone of every student, they decided to do something.
Art Teacher, Mrs. Carrie’s Bloomston asked the class what they could do to change it?
Sure enough, the following week they came back to her and wanted to write Mayco Paint company about their concern.
“We didn’t want any of the students to feel sad because it wasn’t their skin color” said fifth grade student Erin Patterson.
So as a class, they sat down and wrote a letter addressing their concern. What started as a letter turned into a class project with an initial write, a rewrite and a final draft.
“These kids don’t surprise me because they’re so incredible. They really think at a high level and I’m so proud at how they think about the world. So, it didn’t shock me they were so engaged on the topic” according to Mrs. Bloomston.
Here’s a portion of their letter to Mayco:
We are writing to raise awareness about your color, SC-20 Birthday Suit. Our class, 5-3 noticed that the name of the color does not seem to be inclusive of all skin tones. It represents a lighter skinned person, who we assume is white. We have been studying skin color for a recent painting project where we learned that there are well over 4,000 shades of skin tone. We would love if you were able to create a multicultural skin color pack with at least 10 shades of human skin tone.
To their surprise they received an amazing response from the CEO of Mayco that read:
But, your letter remarking that the name of SC-20 is not inclusive really impacted us. We would never wish to cause hurt feelings or offend any of our consumers, especially young artists such as your class. So, as of today, February, 19, SC-20 is now "Cashew Later." And your class has received the very first bottle off the bottling line!!
Which floored Bloomston, “We got an incredible, open hearted letter from a really thoughtful CEO, Coleen Brennan and her response was shocking and surprising to all of us.”
The fifth grade class also received the newly named paint and some other art supplies. However, the biggest, most amazing gift they got? A life lesson on how they can make in a difference in this world.
“It made us feel like we did something important, like we were part of a big change," says Patterson.
"Not just changing the name of a glaze color but really showing that young people can make a big difference."