In 2003 the Bear Fever committee invited businesses, groups, and individuals to join Boyertown School District's public art project Bear Fever.
The project continues; Bear Fever bears can be ordered by contacting Jane Stahl, janeEstahl@comcast.net.
Our original goal was to beautify our community with artistically created life-sized sculptures of the school district's bear mascot and to allow members of the business community, the school district, and the citizenry to learn more about one another in appreciation of the many skills, abilities, and creative gifts available within the community. Working together and having fun, establishing friendship bonds among the many groups within the community, was an important part of our mission.
Many cities and towns across the world showcase projects like Bear Fever to promote community spirit, beautify our neighborhoods, and promote the arts. Cows in Harrisburg, donkeys, elephants, and pandas in Washington, D.C. inspired Bear Fever. Critters are everywhere! They bring charm and fun and visitors to the communities which sponsor them.
Our project, unlike many others, had an additional mission. We wanted to create career development opportunities for hundreds of students.
We looked for sponsors to buy an entire bear or to "share a bear" with their neighbors or fellow professionals.
We offered several pieces of our promotional materials and a copy of our sponsorship form and encouraged potential sponsors to contact us by phone or e-mail to address questions or facilitate an order.
We wanted everyone to be involved and have fun.
Receiving the sponsorship form and payment allows us to order a bear for you and begin a discussion of the design of the bear.
During the first phase of the project (2003-2005) a student or two was assigned to each bear so that they could collect information about the specific business or profession in an effort to increase career awareness. The student was instructed to follow the progress of their bear to learn more about the artist, techniques, and processes involved in this project.
We had hoped to produce an interesting book about our project filled with anecdotes, photographs, and information of all sorts about Boyertown and the many fine people who live and work here who have been involved in Bear Fever.
However, there is currently no plan in place to create an official book about our bears. There seems to be no cure for Bear Fever, and we don't want to create one until the project is concluded. Plus, the ability to update the project through social media provides an effective way to communicate with Bear Fever fans at minimal cost until the project finally concludes.
We believe our project at the time was unique in its efforts toward student involvement. The students who participated in almost 100% of the sponsorship interviews and made 70% of the phone calls learned so many valuable things from their "internship."
The Bear Fever project was a unique and unforgettable experience as a teacher to have led students in this experience. This authentic involvement in their community was a valuable educational experience their community so graciously and willingly afforded them.
We hope you'll decide to participate in Bear Fever; we'll look forward to hearing from you.
Retired English teacher and Bear Fever Promotions Chair
Interested in Becoming a Sponsor?