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When I walked into the classroom for the first time to be an educator for Art Feeds, I had no idea what to expect. I was instantly greeted with huge smiles from little artists I had not met yet. I was amazed that by the second week, all the kids remembered my name. I was definitely honored when a few little ones requested that I sit by them for the lesson. Seeing the joy and excitement on their faces each week was such a rewarding experience. It was evident that the children were growing more confident in their creativity and love for art each week.
The first week of the Art Feeds mural curriculum is based on story-telling, since all murals tell a story. Before we begin, we tell the students that we are in Art World, and in Art World, anything can happen, and everyone’s ideas are valuable. Everyone sits in a circle with one person holding a ball of yarn, and the yarn is passed around the circle, with each student holding a piece to create a “story web.” Being a speech pathology major, one particular student stood out to me. She had a stutter, but she never let it keep her from describing her art or answering a question. After observing countless therapy sessions with children that stutter, I have a good idea of the impact it can have on a child. She exhibited her bravery the first week of Art Feeds when she told her part of the story without any frustration. It was also amazing to see how supportive her classmates were whenever she spoke, patiently waiting for her to finish without interrupting her or finishing her sentences.
Moments like this showed me the true power of Art World, and the pure fearlessness of children who can freely express themselves. At the end of the curriculum, I was sad my time with the kids was over, but I was so humbled to receive sweet thank you notes personally addressed to “Miss Maddie.” I’m currently an intern for Art Feeds NWA, and couldn’t be more proud of the organization I work for!
Art Feeds NWA Intern/Educator
This Spring we'll be reaching students at Asbell Elementary in Fayetteville with our Community Art Curriculum! We need volunteers to help us reach these students during the month of April on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 8am and 2pm. This volunteer opportunity is in school during the school day, so we ask for a 1-8 hour time commitment. Once an educator decides on a day and time each week to volunteer, that educator is expected to volunteer the same day and time each week for the 4 weeks. Want to spend some time in April investing in kids in your community? Click below to apply!