WHAT started as a small art project at Beckenham Primary School has become a global sensation after a teacher turned to the internet for help.
WHEN Kate Driscoll told her art students about their new project, she did not imagine it would be an international success story.
Mrs Driscoll set her Beckenham Primary School students the task of designing four trading cards, one each representing West Australian flora, fauna and location and an Australian custom.
The idea was to send the trading cards overseas and exchange them with schools in other countries.
The project soon got bigger than anyone expected.
Mrs Driscoll said she had schools in countries as farflung as Slovenia, Romania, Portugal and Wales wanting to be involved.
“It was just an idea I put on my Facebook page and it just blew up,” Mrs Driscoll said.
“I had heaps of people interested so I then had to narrow it down; I chose 28 people, lots of them from the US, so I whittled that down and got the other ones from places like Sweden and Pakistan.”
Trading cards have been exchanged with schools in 18 countries around the world and Mrs Driscoll admitted her Art Teacher Life Facebook page, which has more than 400,000 likes, helped play a part in the project’s reach.
She had help from Applecross Senior High School art teacher Fleur De Campi to send 40 cards to each country and meet the growing demand.
“I didn’t have enough children to produce enough cards, so when Fleur contacted me that was fantastic, because then her kids produced enough cards to send off,” Mrs Driscoll said.
She said it was great to see her students so engaged in their artwork and passionate to learn about different cultures.
“It just branched them off into getting interested in things that are happening in other countries,” she said.
“A particular thing I got out of it was our Filipino kids being able to point to things (from cards sent from Philippines) and giving them the voice to share their culture with our kids.”
Ericka Gatdula, art teacher Kate Driscoll, Tameisha Morrell and Tinara Galhenage with some trading cards.