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I am sometimes asked, "Why does a community need Art Feeds, don't we already have art class & counselors in school?" Yes & yes, and those are vital for the healthy development of our children. Art Feeds is not a replacement for traditional art class and we aren't counselors providing therapy, however we work in partnership with the academic structure of a school to enhance student learning & well-being through art forms.
So who are we?
Art Feeds provides therapeutic art and creative education lessons within elementary schools & children’s organizations by mobilizing teams of trained community members to bring all forms of art – dancing, painting, music, sculpture, storytelling, mural making, and more – into classrooms. Art Feeds curriculum, developed in conjunction with an Art Therapist, Child Trauma Specialist and Certified Teacher, is designed to 1.) Increase self-efficacy and self worth, 2.) Increase creative problem solving and resiliency skills, and 3.) Reduce fear, stress, and anxiety in children. The ultimate goal – help kids feel powerful beyond measure!
Most importantly, why does what we do matter?
Being a kid can be tough at times. Some face big traumas such as chronic undernourishment or abuse, others deal with language or cultural hurdles, and some are confronted with more everyday frustrations like not making a team or disagreements with friends. These challenges can bring on feelings of unworthiness, and those feelings of self-doubt sometimes show up as acting out in class, underachievement, sadness, unkindness, withdrawing, or anger. So…
•Giving kids another outlet to express their feelings and tell their story matters.
•Encouraging children to use their hearts, bodies & minds to create and share something through painting, drawing, storytelling, dance, or sculpture matters.
•Having community members invest their time to listen and ask questions of children and their art matters.
•Helping kids build self-confidence in an environment where creativity rules and there are no right or wrong answers matters.
•Caring adults who encourage kids to try challenging art projects and not give up matters.
•Helping children choose kindness matters.
•Giving kids a new vehicle to relieve stress and express themselves in unique ways matters.
•Volunteering each week to sit down next to children to see it from their perspective matters.
•Encouraging creativity skills in kids that will help them solve problems in their lives and in our world matters.
And whether you are a dedicated teacher or administrator, loving parent or grandparent, volunteer with Art Feeds or other organization helping children, generous sponsor of Art Feeds or a kids’ sports team, community artist sharing your talents during an art camp, coach of pack of little ones playing sports, or caring neighbor routing for kids from the sidelines, Art Feeds loudly & proudly cheers you on as you give of yourself, because it takes us all, and it all matters!
Heather Goff Collier
Art Feeds National Board of Directors
Art Feeds Carthage Volunteer
Lover & supporter of kids