Art won't be the only thing on display at Riverside Elementary's annual art show this week.

Art won't be the only thing on display at Riverside Elementary's annual art show this week.

The Feb. 24 annual show will also have items handcrafted by fourth-graders on sale in conjunction with an effort to teach students how to make a difference in the world.

The lesson came about from an author's visit.

"We have a visiting author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, coming in. She's written a bunch of books and made some videos and one is 'Beckoning the Lovely,' which is about making the world a better place," said Riverside librarian Franki Sibberson.

Fourth-graders at the school have been learning about making the world a better place for several months; Sibberson said it's been blended into different disciplines. In social studies class, students have been reading autobiographies of people who have made a difference in history, she said.

"We've kind of built (the lesson) all fall," Sibberson said. "We started the big work in January."

Over the past few weeks, local business owners have also talked to students about how they give back to the community. Nathan Eckhart talked about his trip to Africa and delivering 5,000 pairs of shoes through the Tom's Shoes organization, and Melissa Hoover of Melissa Hoover Landscape Design discussed using her passion for landscaping in community gardens.

Sibberson said Linda Kick of Our Cupcakery came in last week "to talk about her business and how she uses baking to make a difference with charities."

Students have been working on their own projects to make a difference for the last six weeks and according to Sibberson, they include bracelets, comic books, pillows, bookmarks, photo frames, piggy banks, key chains and magnets.

"We've had these production days where the art room is more like an art studio," said art teacher Drew Jones. "They come in and get to work where they've left off."

Once the handcrafted items are sold, Sibberson said students will donate the money to charities they chose with the help of an art project.

"Earlier in the year I had students create a heart map, which is a visual representation of the heart, and things they care about (and) things they love so they're able in incorporate writing and drawing and colors and all sorts of things to visually represent what they're passionate about," Jones said. "We talked about social issues they care about whether it's the environment, people going hungry or people who are homeless. It helped them zero in on a charity or something to research."

The fourth-graders aren't the only students who were inspired by Krouse Rosenthal's visit, though.

Jones said the other art projects are connected to the author's books or videos.

"She wrote a book called 'Yes Day' about a little boy and it's his favorite day of the year because anything he asks will be a yes," Jones said. "So I had the first-graders come up with a question they wanted a yes to and they created artwork based on that."

One girl's yes painting revolves around dancing with a kangaroo, he said.

"It really shows their innocence and imagination," Jones said. "It was fun to unlock that."

The entire project will come to a culmination on Feb. 25, when Krouse Rosenthal visits the school. Sibberson said the children's author is in town for the Dublin Literacy Conference on Feb. 26, so it worked out to have her visit the students.

"She'll be here all day and see all of (the students)," she said. "She'll do three different sessions and there will be autographs at the end of the day."

This is the first time an art show has revolved around an author visit and Jones said the whole school is excited.

"I feel like Amy is an author and an artist herself that is all about finding the beauty in the world and this life and trying to unlock our imaginations to explore those things," he said.