The By-You Tapestry Representing the Rights of Children Everywhere

by Mrs. Yvonne Moyer
This year, Lower School children brainstormed, discussed, drew, stitched and produced a meaningful and thoughtful art piece in the form of a tapestry.
Meaningful, in that it has sparked conversations about the rights children need to survive and thrive in life. Meaningful, because it may plant the seeds that we need to help each other in this world.

Students learned 3 basic stitches while creating the tapestry: a simple running stitch, a chain stitch and a cross stitch. They learned how to thread a needle and tie a knot. Student drawings were projected on the panels and outlined for the students to stitch on. The panels of white burlap are 4 feet by 6 feet, the yarn, colorful and the stitched drawings charming.

There are 7 panels to the tapestry:

1. The Title Panel
2. The Right to Health, Sanitation and Medicine
3. The Right to an Education
4. The Right to a Safe Home or Shelter with Parents or Family.
5. The Right to Food, Water and Fresh Air
6. The Right to Play, Dream and Learn to Help
7. The Right to your Language, Culture and Religion

Two additional panels are currently being constructed including the Right to an Opinion, to Set Boundaries and Have Privacy, and the Right to Protection from various forms of Abuse, Slavery and Bullying.

The idea for the tapestry came to Mrs. Moyer after seeing the Bayeux Tapestry in Normandy, France last summer. Beautifully stitched and 1000 years old she felt her students could create a By-You Tapestry that had a positive message for all children. With the separation of children on our southern border, migrant children fleeing violence all over the world, children suffering from poverty and neglect and girls who are not allowed an education, she felt a strong message was necessary. The idea of By-You Tapestry on the Rights of All Children Everywhere took shape. There were opportunities for parents and grandparents to participate and many took stitches along with their lower school children. Some faculty, staff, Upper and Middle school students enjoyed a few stitches.

Parent, Tine Neimeyer arranged for Miami’s Human Rights Watch to speak with our students. All 7 of the tapestries were lined up on stage. Students presented information about each section of the tapestry to the speaker, Mary Lagomarsino who shared information about Children’s Rights around the World.

The Tapestry has traveled to the Human Rights Watch Annual Fundraising Dinner on Miami Beach, The Miami Shores Presbyterian Church, to Homestead, to witness over 2000 youth incarcerated for legally seeking asylum in the USA,  and will travel this summer to Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin for exhibit at the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts on July 17. Let's continue to share and grow its message.
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