The Issue: Children Affected by the Moore, OK Tornado
On May 20, 2013, a devastating tornado hit the suburbs of Oklahoma City, killing at least 51 people, including 20 children, as reported by NBC News. This included 7 children from Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, Oklahoma. As many as 1,300 children were part of this traumatic experience. The staff at Art Feeds hopes to use therapeutic art and creative education as one source of healing for these children. Supervised 30–60-minute sessions will allow the children to communicate and reflect on their experiences in a safe, caring environment.
The Campaign: Helping Children Heal Through Art
All donations to this Grassroots campaign will be used by Art Feeds to provide art packs to 1,300 children in Moore, Oklahoma who were affected by the recent tornado. For every $10 raised, Art Feeds will be able to provide one art pack to a child. The packs are part of a 12-week disaster curriculum and training for students and their teachers. Led by 3–6 educators trained by trauma specialists, the program will encourage the children to express their emotions and heal through creative education and art.
Each art pack contains the following:
- 24-pack of crayons
- Packs of colored pencils and washable markers
- Pens, pencils, and erasers
- Eight-color watercolor palette
- A sketchbook
- A super hero cape, which can help kids feel safe and strong
Based in Joplin, Missouri, Art Feeds has experience working with tornado-affected children. View the video below for a closer look:
Meg Bourne witnessed the transformative powers of art firsthand when she volunteered in a behavioral disorder classroom in 2009. One little boy in particular was lethargic and falling behind in his work. After addressing his physical sustenance needs, she started sharing art supplies with him. He began to thrive—painting watercolors and developing an obvious sense of self-worth. After seeing the impact of creative education and therapeutic art on this particular child, she was inspired to create Art Feeds.
When a horrific tornado ripped through the organization's hometown of Joplin, Missouri in 2011, Bourne expanded the program to address the needs of children who have experienced trauma. Art Feeds now conducts mobile art programs with schools and after-school programs, focusing on elementary-school students. Art Feeds’ curriculum is designed to encourage students to express their emotions in any means possible, so it is never limited to one type of art. For example, students can experiment with dance, drawing, painting, sculpting, and writing. To date, Art Feeds has worked with more than 15,000 children.
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