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Courtesy of the Fresno State media, communications and journalism department.

Students hope to make a child’s day with a pack of crayons and a coloring book

Publication design students are holding a crayon drive to go along with hand-made coloring books for local children who are battling illnesses.

The Crayon Drive started as a class assignment in Dr. Tamyra Pierce’s publication design course. Pierce is a professor in Fresno State’s department of media, communications and journalism

MCJ students groups chose  their own themes for the coloring books. Each student designed three pages of a coloring book that correspond with the book’s theme.

The purpose of Pierce’s coloring book project, she said, is for students to learn the tools of Adobe InDesign, a computer publication and design software.

However, Pierce said, she had always hoped to give the finished coloring books to the children at Valley Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley.

This semester Pierce and her students were able to connect with Friends for Civic Engagement, founded by Rich and Dwayne Berrett and organized by the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning.

Friends for Civic Engagement provided them with the funding they needed to print their coloring books and start the drive.

Emily Valdez, a senior public relations major, won for the best design for flier to promote the event. Valdez said she chose to make her flier fun, colorful and childlike because the drive is for the children at Valley Children’s Hospital.

She said she has a personal connection with the hospital because she has a sorority sister being treated there for Ewing sarcoma cancer.

Pierce and her classes are trying to get as many packs of crayons donated as possible. They hope to be able to take the coloring books and the crayons to the kids in the next couple of weeks.

She believes the drive teaches her students the importance of giving back and giving to others.

“It just warms my heart,” Pierce said. “I’ve been smiling for weeks now since this all happened. It really makes me proud of my students.”

So far, there have been more than 100 crayon packs donated to the Crayon Drive. The donation drive ends Nov. 7.