A combined Language Arts, Social Studies and Art project called “Eyes Wide Open” has been completed at Westfield High School created by students and staff in the Project ’79 program. Displaying a large blank sheet of black paper on a wall outside the Guidance office, a prompt was written in the middle for which students throughout the school could respond using chalk.  Over several weeks, the prompts changed and included:  I wish, I dream, and we see.

As passersby added comments to the paper, they were asked by Project ‘79 students if they wanted a photograph of their eyes to be included, along with a video statement explaining their response.  Project ’79 students used iPads to photograph eyes and take video clips of the responses. The eyes surrounded the black paper and “looked over” the responses that had been made to the prompt. 

The concept began as the Project ’79 students were reading The Great Gatsby, which has several references to eyes.

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Art teacher, Roy Chambers, explained that the project encouraged “students to see the world from different and larger perspectives.”

All of the eyes, video comments, and photos were combined together into a short multi-media movie with music that can be viewed below. It includes an original music score by Shayfer James, a former Westfield graduate.


Project ’79 is Westfield’s award-winning alternative approach to education which continues to help students reach their full potential.