The rest of the supplies for the art kits for children at Children’s services in Bennington, VT are arriving today, and Thing2 and I will be spending Sunday putting together kits for very young artists. I adjusted a few of the items in the kit to make sure none of the items were small enough to be swallowed and that small hands could enjoy making abstract art.
With the help of bestselling author Jon Katz, we are also raising funds to assemble 80 more art kits for refugee children in Albany, NY. Some are new to America, some have been here for months or years. All attend day care or classes at the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, (RISSE), whose main offices were burned to the ground by arsonists a year ago, and all of the tires on their vans were slashed.
The kids at RISSE and the kids in the custody of children’s services may come from different places, but they all have in common a need to heal from their experiences and get back to the very important business of growing up. Art gives even small children a constructive outlet to express their emotions, to process a trauma, and to begin becoming the person they want to be, and the creative tools for this don’t need to be expensive or fancy — they just need to be on hand when a kid is ready to create.