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COLUMN: Students make bees their business for film project

Bees are in big trouble.

And some 200 local students lent their artwork to the cause of saving the bees.

Paula Allen, creative director and instructor at Pollyzoom Productions, asked art students at North Warren and Johnsburg schools to draw pictures of bees, which she then used to create an animated film called “Beehold.”

She also worked with kids at the Caldwell-Lake George Library and Richards Library in Warrensburg.

The film will be screened at Crandall Public Library from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at 251 Glen St. The film was funded by a grant from the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council.

Allen, who is based in Lake George, but winters in Florida, said she wanted to do a community project to bring attention to the disappearing bumblebee community.

“Many, many of the kids had no idea how they could help,” Allen said, “so I think that’s a biggie.”

She explained to the children that plants their parents buy are treated and covered in pesticides, which kill the bee population, which is so important to pollination.

“They didn’t realize the plants are treated when you buy them and they kill everything,” Allen said.

At the Saturday screening, the children’s artwork will be on display as well. Children from outside the area also worked as animation assistants to Allen.

The trailer for the film has already received 500 hits, Allen said.

“Every time somebody looks at that, even the trailer, they think, ‘Oh wow, bees are disappearing,’” she said.

Cathy Kearney, the art teacher at North Warren Central School, said 45 first graders and 32 kindergartners participated in the bee project. Adaline Hanaburgh’s bee was chosen as the main character.

“Pollyzoom spent two class periods with each group and taught them the importance of not harming bees because they are so necessary for pollination,” Kearney said.

Her students were really excited that their drawings would be part of the “Beehold” animation project.

“It was a wonderful way to combine art and science concepts,” Kearney said, “and tie it back into their own lives so they can positively impact the environment.”

The kids realized through the project that they had the power to make a big difference, Allen said.

“The film is not telling people what to do. It’s showing people what will happen, and it’s not really great, even though it’s a kids’ film,” Allen said. “It shows that things are not going to go well.”

The film, itself, has as a happy ending.

Call me the good news girl. Send me your church functions, your library events, your school honor society induction photos – I’ll do my best to get it into the Sunday Hometown section of the paper. Are there special people in your community worthy of recognition? Tell me about them. Drop me a line, a tip, a note, or send a press release and photos to or simply call my desk at 518-742-3206. I look forward to hearing all your good news.


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