The Yummy Strawberry Company
Here’s a look at the current commissioned project I am working on.
This is a curriculum for children in fourth to eighth grade, to teach them about labor and unions. Its a good thing because these are topics that are not commonly introduced to children at a young age. Most kids will grow up to be workers, so its helpful to give them the tools to negotiate and work together to defend themselves from exploitative employers.
Thats where the curriculum comes in. First the kids start an assembly line where they are employed to make chocolate dipped strawberries. The kids sign an employment contract and get badges for each of their jobs. They even go and sell the strawberries to other kids for profit.
Everything is going along smoothly, then management steps in with new rules. Suddenly the kids are working longer hours for less money. They get fewer breaks, and all of the extra profit goes to the management. Now, when this has been done in real classes, the kids get ANGRY. There have been classes where they all went on strike, except for a few scabs. Even as the few remaining scabs tried to sell their wares, kids were licking the strawberries so they couldn’t sell them to customers.
Needless to say, kids get it pretty quick when they’re not being treated fairly. The kids now can form a union, and negotiate with the teacher for fairer treatment. Management (hopefully) gives way, and the kids are triumphant!
All in all, I think it is important to expose kids to labor issues early on. Many workers are in a situation where they are being exploited, and they deserve to be informed about ways to fight back. And I think the project engages students in a way that schools usually don’t. I know if I was one of those kids I would have gone on strike so fast. Art is to me most satisfying when I know it would have pleased a ten-year-old me.
Heres another drawing and the back cover. Enjoy!
If you’d like to learn more feel free to leave a message in the comments or email me.