The Egg Painting Compassion Project


Cultivating Mindfulness, Empathy, and Compassion in Our Schools through Storytelling, Art, and Poetry


This school year, thanks to your support and the additional support of PTOs, school fundraising efforts, and outside donations, ten classes (239 students) in three elementary schools were able to create beautiful works of art and insightful poems while learning about the importance of caring in our fragile world. 

We are continuing this GoFundMe campaign to help make it possible for fourth graders to have access to The Egg Painting Compassion Project during the 2018-19 school year. 

Throughout the summer, we will be updating information and photos on this campaign and add a projected budget for next year. 

Please stay tuned!

(Egg paintings by students in Mrs. Schwartz's fourth grade class, May 2018)


One elementrary school student said it best:

 “Eggs are perfect to paint on when you are learning about things that can break. When you know that something is really fragile, you take care of it. When you see that the whole earth and everything in it can be fragile—well, you can imagine how that makes you feel. Maybe if we all cared for each other and the earth with our whole hearts, the world would be happy, and we could relax and enjoy it together.”

Egg paintings by fourth grade students in Mrs. Bates's class, April 2018


This program consists of ten gentle two-hour lessons that help students focus, find their center, paint their own stories on eggshell canvases, and write poems with messages to the world. The work is intricate. It requires attention, commitment, resilience, and a great deal of care.

Nurturing and kindness are keys to the success of this project. When students feel safe, are heard, and sense that they matter, they are more able to relate to themselves and each other with compassion, discernment, and care. To foster this kind of ethical sensitivity in the classroom requires skill building. The Egg Painting Compassion Project provides opportunities to develop these skills.

(Student cradling an extinct elephant bird egg)

This process involves handling eggshells of all shapes and sizes. It also involves storytelling—because we’re made of stories, and sharing stories can help us develop empathy and compassion.

Drawing lessons help students learn how to use lines and shapes to draw anything they want. These drawings become miniature worlds on the surfaces of empty eggshells.


After completing these masterpieces, students write poems about their miniature worlds—poems that include important messages for all of us. The students aren’t allowed to come up with these messages ahead of time—they have to discover them in the body of their work.

Students read their poems to an engaged audience, sometimes in the classroom, other times on the school’s stage. These masterpiece eggs and poems are often on display in the classroom, the school library, or the school office.

Next, we create a "found poem" using only the students’ messages. Reading this poem aloud allows the students to assimilate their wisdom in a new way. 


Several former students who’ve taken this workshop are now parents whose fourth grade children are bringing egg paintings home and adding them to their family’s collection.

One by one, the fragile stories of our children are bringing us together as families and as a community. Their images and words are powerful and caring reminders for all of us.

2018-19 will be the 31st ANNIVERSARY of the Egg Painting Compassion Project! 

This program has been funded through PTOs, walk-a-thons, photo shoots, and donations from generous individuals in our community. Our GoFundMe goal represents only a portion of the funds we will need to make this program available to fourth grade students in the elementary schools participating in the 2018-2019 school year.  Reaching this goal will ease some of the fundraising burdens from the schools and allow our friends and fellow community members to support this project as well.


Please look at the reward categories above and to your right to see if anything intrigues you. We want to give back to everyone who contributes to this effort because we want you to thrive, too!

A kind and heartfelt thank you for sharing this, and for your support.

  • Johnnie Don 
    • $100 
    • 51 mos
  • Deed Verutti 
    • $100 
    • 52 mos
  • Esther & 
    • $100 
    • 54 mos
  • Danny Brolliar 
    • $100 
    • 54 mos
  • Cesar Lopez 
    • $50 
    • 55 mos
See all


Cathee vanRossem-St.Clair 
Truckee, CA

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