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Pine View Elementary Celebrity Makeover Under Way

HGTV’s "Home by Novogratz" stars Robert and Cortney Novogratz are on campus this week to complete a $25,000 art room makeover.

For Pine View Elementary art teacher Jill Hallauer, it's a wish come true.

HGTV’s "Home by Novogratz" stars Robert and Cortney Novogratz are on campus this week redesigning her art classroom, thanks to a $25,000 grand prize makeover from Bounty, A Procter & Gamble Company.

"Home by Novogratz" is a makeover show that features the husband-and-wife team creating interesting designs in unique spaces.

For the Novogratzes, it's a perfect way to do their part to not only keep art programs alive in schools, but to update them, as well, they said.

The couple have seven children—ranging in age from 2 to 14—and they say they see firsthand the lack of emphasis on innovations in art and design education in schools.

"The jobs are really in design and technology and we don't see education reflecting that," Robert Novogratz said.

The innovators like Steve Jobs are creative types, yet art programs are often hard pressed because of budget restraints to provide an atmosphere that fosters and builds that creative thinking, Robert Novogratz said.

Jobs that are being created today rely on creative thinking, and you get that from art and music, Robert Novogratz said.

"Art is just as important as math," Cortney Novogratz said. And if the students don't get to see a range of design elements in their daily lives, "they can see it here" in the classroom, she said.

"Creativity is really a way of having the kids think more," Robert Novogratz said.

Pine View was chosen to receive the art room makeover by luck of the draw—teachers were asked to submit their wish lists on teacherwishlist.com, a new school-family website that aims to help alleviate teachers’ out-of-pocket spending on school supplies, a press release stated. Schools that registered five or more teachers on the site through Sept. 27, 2011, were entered to win the grand prize makeover.

Hallauer said she was not one of the seven teachers who registered on the site, but she was thrilled to be the lucky recipient based on her fellow teachers' submissions.

In addition to the room makeover, Hallauer also was asked to supply a wish list of art supplies and technology for the classroom. She has no idea yet what is being purchased — the list of purchases is being kept under wraps until the big reveal Thursday, Dec. 15.

"Technology is really important, it really opens up new avenues for the kids," Hallauer said.

Technology in the classroom can take them places that they can't see otherwise, including virtual art museum tours, Hallauer said.

The Novogratzes spent the day Tuesday shopping at Bay area businesses to purchase items for the wish list and the classroom renovation.

We like to shop in local places and really show off the local stores in our show, Robert Novogratz said. The crews the Novogratzes are using to do the renovations also are locals, he said.

For the students, Thursday can't come fast enough.

The kids are trying to peek in all the time, even though the windows are covered, Hallauer said.

"They're super excited."

Sherri Lonon December 15, 2011 at 12:35 PM
What do you think the art room will look like during its big reveal today?

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