Gwinn grade schoolers paint wooden trucks

These are finished wooden cars painted by Sawyer Elementary School kindergartners. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)

GWINN — Toys have more meaning for children if they create them on their own.

Or at least paint them.

Sawyer Elementary School kindergarten students painted wooden cars during a special art session Thursday. Gilbert Elementary students were to take part in the same activity Friday.

Dale Vincent, owner of the Gwinn Furniture Outlet and a member of the Gwinn Lions Club, donated over 125 toy cars so the kids could have “something to do” and have a gift for Christmas.

It was the Lions’ idea, he said, to let the Gwinn kids paint them. His daughter, Janet Vincent, also helped with the activity.

They also were quality cars.

“These are all handmade and are out of oak,” Vincent said.

How the kids decorated the toy cars was up to them.

“It was to be their idea, their thing,” he said.

Jennifer Frein, elementary art teacher with Gwinn Area Community Schools, led Thursday’s busy session at Sawyer.

“Kindergarten is having a great time getting to design their own car,” Frein said as the kids were putting on their finishing details.

The project was a creative outlet for them to choose their own colors, designs and patterns, she said.

The results were colorful, to say the least.

“It’s a rainbow!” exclaimed Devin Jarrett, one of the young students.

The proper mechanics also were involved.

“We’ve talked about painting skills, learning how to hold our paintbrush,” Frein said.

Devin’s mother, Rhonda, also a paraprofessional for kindergarten, oversaw the session too.

“He is so into it,” she said of her son.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is