Artists throughout the communities can show off their talents and share with residents in the month of May.

The dozen art teachers in K-12 in the Stow-Munroe Falls School District are having a PAWS-itive ART Challenge to bring people together during social distancing, said Laura Forchione, technology integration director.

Residents are invited to join in with the students as they show off their art skills and knowledge of art history.

Art teacher Leah Renner made a video to help everyone get started at and all of the schools’ principals sent out messages to students about the project.

"The K-12 art teachers have been brainstorming on how to come together, and they shared some of their teacher samples and kids’ artwork with me and I put together the video," Renner said.

Two templates, one of a bulldog and one of a paw, can be used or residents can create their own artwork. Everyone can use available art supplies to draw, color, paint or make a collage.

"The bulldog is one I’ve drawn, and I put it on stickers to reward students," she said.

Renner said she got the idea from Cuyahoga Falls art teachers who do an annual K-12 art walk, which was canceled this year because of COVID-19.

"They were trying to come up with scavenger hunt and use their tiger," Renner said. "So I thought of a way we could be connected in Stow, and a paw print was simple."

The project’s goal is to connect the students since Gov. Mike DeWine announced school would not resume for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

"We’re trying to come up with something fun because students won’t be coming back for school," Forchione said.

Everyone who participates is asked to post the artwork by May 1 in a window or clear door visible from the street for those walking or driving by to see.

Students will have lesson in art history or an artist style depending on class level, Renner said. They may do a self-portrait, abstract art or something else in the paw print. Some students fill them with their favorite things or activities.

"Each teacher is teaching a new art concept or art history lesson through this," she said. "It varies by age but it makes a simple project more complex."

After May 1 students and residents are encouraged to walk or drive around and see how many of the displayed artwork they can find as if in a scavenger hunt.

"Have fun and keep creating," Forchione said.

Renner said she hopes businesses hang artwork in their windows.

"It would be cool for people to hang them in their windows and enjoy the artwork," Renner said. "I’m sure kids will be sharing how many they find in the Google Classroom."

Renner said she hopes the project will encourages more people to create.

"It’s great art therapy and ties us all together during this unusual time," she added.

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at