With their little hands speckled in paint and their imaginations running wild, Rogue River Elementary School students have come together to fashion a masterpiece — 12 of them, to be exact.

With their little hands speckled in paint and their imaginations running wild, Rogue River Elementary School students have come together to fashion a masterpiece — 12 of them, to be exact.

For the past several weeks, students have been decorating squares that were pieced together to form artistic quilts that will help raise money for their school.

The quilts and other student artwork will be auctioned off during the second annual Art Show and Silent Auction, which benefits the school's most underfunded programs. It will begin at 5 p.m. Friday in the gymnasium and will include a talent show.

Students and teachers selected the themes, which ranged from family portraits to favorite things.

"While some classrooms have themes, some teachers decided to let the kids do whatever they liked," says Amber Swann of the Rogue River PTA.

Third-grade teacher Megan Bless selected a theme of outlined hands for her class.

"It was a simple outline, but the students could still use their creativity," she says.

"It was fun," says first-grader Grace Boisen. "And we all got to help."

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help bolster music, art and physical education programs at Rogue River Elementary.

The PTA organized the event again this year after last year's success allowed the school to hire a part-time music teacher.

"The PTA in a small community does a lot," says Interim Principal Stephanie Johnson. "Ours is continuing to find ways to better the children's educational experience, and this fundraiser represents months of work for a large portion of the community."

Local businesses have contributed 70-plus items for the silent auction, including travel packages, gift certificates, skateboards, winery tours and tastings, fish tanks and home makeover kits.

"We plan on doing this again next year," Swann says. "And with all the cutbacks, the PTA needs to provide more for the teachers, P.E. balls, music equipment, and even field trips."

Chad Snyder is a freelance writer living in Jacksonville. E-mail him at chadpacnor@yahoo.com.