River Stewart, 4, works on art at the Bayview Farmers market last week. She returns today and next Saturday to continue offering her art for donations to South Whidbey Elementary School programs. Photo provided

River Stewart, 4, works on art at the Bayview Farmers market last week. She returns today and next Saturday to continue offering her art for donations to South Whidbey Elementary School programs. Photo provided

Young girl sells art for school

River Stewart hasn’t even entered kindergarten yet, but she’s already contributed in a major way to her future school district. And she’s not done yet.

The 4-year-old girl utilized her skill with a marker and raised almost $400 to help bring back a music program to South Whidbey Elementary School. She sold her art at the Bayview Farmers Market last weekend for donations that will go to the campaign Growing Our Potential, which is a partnership between South Whidbey Elementary PTA and the South Whidbey Schools Foundation to raise money for a “wish list” created by the principal and teachers.

She was so successful, she’ll be back at the market today and Saturday, June 29.

“I was personally moved as a dad, just seeing a 4-year-old selling her art and knowing it was going toward enrichment programs,” said River’s dad Jake Stewart.

With a 3-year-old and 4-year-old headed toward the South Whidbey school system, Jake and his wife Aja had wanted to contribute to the campaign.

The family, which has been on Whidbey for almost five years, wasn’t able to contribute as much financially as the couple would like, Aja said. They knew they wanted to get the community involved, so the farmers market seemed like a natural start.

“River is an artist and she has been wanting to share her art,” Aja said. “She’s gone to a show and wondered when she can have hers.”

Her table was a hit, and she even drew “commissioned” pieces for people who showed her pictures of their pets, her parents said.

Flowers are her favorite subject, River said.

“I just like their smell,” she said.

She is looking forward to entering kindergarten and hopefully participating in a music program. Her favorite instrument is the triangle, she said.

Due to declining enrollment, there have been cuts made at the school. There is currently no music teacher on staff for the upcomng year, so incoming principal Susie Richards put it at the top of her wish list, according to a letter sent for the campaign.

Other children have been recruited to add their art for the next two farmers markets, the Stewarts said.

For her next sale, River plans on drawing birds, cats, bunnies and “flowers, of course.”

n Donations to the campaign may also be made at www.swsfoundation.org

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