Egg fundraiser honors teacher’s memory, offers support for Ukrainians

Students at North Royalton Elementary School are brightening up the spring season with more than just colorful egg drawings. Through the Pysanky Egg project, students are raising money to honor late elementary school teacher Marta Malutza while also providing support to those in the war-torn country of Ukraine.

Malutza taught third and fourth graders at North Royalton for over 30 years, and as a Ukrainian, was an interpreter for all Ukrainian students. In addition to her education degree, she held a master’s degree in performance and was an accomplished violinist.

Malutza’s artistic ability bled into the theater as a playwright and many of her fourth-grade students performed her plays. Malutza passed away in December 2021 and North Royalton City Schools decided to honor her memory with a bronze sculpture of a young woman playing a violin to be placed on the school’s campus.

Between March 28 and April 14, students and staff raised funds with hopes of reaching the district’s $5,000 goal by purchasing a paper drawing of a Pysanky Ukrainian egg to color for a minimum of $2.

Pysanky is a Ukrainian Easter egg decorated with folk designs using a wax-resist method. Students will take a blank egg paper home, design and color it, and add it to one of several large paper baskets in the school hallway.

Donations will be used to fund the sculpture and any remaining funds will be donated to the Cleveland Maidan Association in Malutza’s name. This nonprofit organization is fundraising to purchase medical supplies and basic necessities for families still in Ukraine.

“Marta was deeply loved by her students, staff, friends, and family. She was Ukrainian and really shared her heart with the Ukrainian community,” said school counselor Beth Ann Kleem. “This is why we tied the Pysanky Egg Project and her memorial together.”

After only four days of fundraising, donations were at over $2,000.

Contributions can be made at the North Royalton Fifth Third Bank 6465 Royalton Rd., or a check may be sent to the school. All checks will be deposited in the school’s scholarship fund and should be made out to Elizabeth Kleem, account number 9903005636. ∞