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Plainfield East HS art students create coloring books for essential workers

    During Remote Learning the last three months of the school year, Plainfield East High School Fine Arts Teacher Emily Tonon wondered, “What can we do to give back to the community with our artwork?”

Tonon came up with a great way to combine curriculum and charity. She asked her students to create a coloring page for a coloring book to give to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wanted to spread some joy and do something for the people who are fighting every day to keep us safe while we are at home, or for those that have been continuing to work throughout the pandemic,” Tonon said.

Tonon gave students examples of what adult coloring book designs look like, and reminded students to focus on repetition, movement, patterns, and lines in their drawings.

Each coloring book contains 35 pages of students’ drawings, Tonon said.

“I hope the kids are able to feel good about using their artwork for a good purpose and bringing that to the community,” Tonon said.

After printing out a few of the coloring books, Tonon wrapped them and wrote thank you letters to various essential workers in the community. She delivered a few coloring books to neighbors who work at Edward Hospital, Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, the Plainfield Police Department, and the local Mariano's grocery store, Tonon said.

“The coloring books can be used if they ever have down time at work to help them relax,” Tonon said. “I just hope these coloring books bring a smile to someone’s face.”

Tonon also added the coloring pages to a google drive folder for anyone to access.

“I wanted the coloring book to be accessible for everyone, and this way people can print off a specific page that speaks to them,” Tonon said.

To view the online coloring book, visit




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