Friday, June 4, 2010

Color Me Happy

In the area, kids have a hard time finding something to do and often can't really entertain themselves. I was curious to see how receptive they would be to simple activities. The art influence is rapidly growing throughout Newburgh, and every great artist had to start somewhere. With that thought in mind, I brought a number of small  art/craft  projects. The cost of these items were extremely meager, each being about a dollar and I figured there's no harm in a little coloring.

A group of four small kids were running up and down the block. I asked them if they wanted to have a little contest, and that got their attention. I pulled out coloring kits comprised of a drawing and a set of crayons. They quickly ripped the packaging open and when right to work. They had questions like if they could color them any way they wanted, to which I answered yes. They finished their masterpieces in no time and we very eager to show me and see who won the award. They were all very proud of their work, and not wanting to choose, they each won, the prize being little origami books with several projects and detailed instructions in each.

Another girl was just sitting on her stoop and I mentioned how she looked bored. I asked what she liked to do, her reply being swimming. Being that I couldn't help with that at that given moment, I asked if she liked drawing. She said yes, and I pulled out a small engraving kit comprised of a coated silver foil page and a scratch tool. I explained how it was done, and she also went to work right away. She seemed to take her time on the pre-printed seahorse design and seemed to pay attention to detail. About half an hour later, she was still working on it when another girl came out and started calling to her. She didn't respond to her friend right away and just kept working. After a bit, she went inside with her work and came right out. I was pleased to see she brough her kit inside and not just discard or abandon it on the stoop.

This tells me it really doesn't take much to make these kids happy, they're willing to try different things, and they welcome the chance to do so. They even said thanks!

I hope to help them find things they enjoy doing and provide a positive outlet. If we encouragement them now, hopefully they will find something they love doing, hopefully that something will make a difference for them, and hopefully that difference will make us all better off.

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