5th graders write letters to Donald Trump expressing deportation fears

DENVER -- As an art teacher, Ms. Carmel Russo is used to asking kids to use their creativity to express their feelings.

"The idea is to give the students, the youth in this neighborhood, a means of communication in a really constructive way," Ms. Russo described.

When she asked a group of 5th graders at Annunciation Catholic School to highlight community problems through art, their response left her speechless.

"I had to hold back tears for sure," Ms. Russo said. "They wanted to build their own wall and their wall expressed their feelings toward Donald Trump."

Local artist, Ella Maria Ray, worked with the students on the exhibit and had the kids write their feelings on "bricks."

One letter reads, "Dear Trump, I am sad because you want to send the Mexicans back. I am Mexican. Plz don't send my family back."

Another reads, "Dear Trump, you offended me about what you said. You have to treat everyone the same. Don't send Mexicans back. I'm Geo and I approve this message!"

Annunciation Catholic School is 92-percent Hispanic and that wall quickly began to grow.

"There was just a certain, just a shiver down my spine on how much they had to say and how they were able to articulate it," Ms. Russo said.

Students said their fears aren't gone, but the lesson has left them with a different feeling.

"It was one of the best things I ever did in my life," said 5th grader, Carlos Romero. "I was proud of everybody."

The exhibit also highlights other problems the students see in their community like drugs and violence.  The exhibit is free and open at Redline Art Gallery through December 30th.

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