Vision: Art Program

April 2, 2014

One’s childhood is a time of innocence and creative wonder. Every child should have the right to let their creativity and imagination play; unfortunately, not every child is born into a fortunate household where they can simply enjoy being a kid. I have traveled on many mission trips where the poverty is so extreme, only the necessary needs of food and shelter are provided. I fully support mission trips that provide basic needs, however there is a key element that is missing in many service mission trips. That is, the children need more than simply being provided food and shelter. They deserve a chance to live their childhood and be free to express themselves through creativity. My program is a mission trip that focuses primarily on the children and their need to express themselves. As a child, many of my favorite memories involved paint. This is because I had the freedom to create something and to let my imagination take form. Around the age of 14, I began sharing paint and paper with children that I babysat. Through this I learned that every child has a unique and vivid imagination. Painting had some mysterious way of bringing out the best in even my most mischievous kids. When I was 17, I went on a mission trip to an orphanage in Mexico. I thought it would be a good idea to bring my bag of face paint to the kids. In short, they absolutely loved it. What started off as me painting on them soon turned into them painting me and the other volunteers. Before long all the kids were smiling, laughing, and playing with paint. I had never seen such a drastic change in atmosphere. The kids had the opportunity to simply be creative and forget whatever burdens were around them. That is when I realized that many kids around the world have never gotten the chance to experience a creative and carefree childhood. Art in itself is both therapeutic and freeing to people of all ages. It helps children stimulate parts of the brain used to develop language, mathematic, science, and social skills. In addition, participating in art at a young age strengthens the synapses between brain cells and helps develop the brain to its fullest capacity. This brain development helps anywhere from appreciating music to speaking different language. So not only does bringing art to children lift their spirits, but it also helps develop their brain which could lead to a brighter future. How beautiful it would be to not only provide food, but also childhood joy and hope to those who desperately need it. Students of ********** would have the opportunity to help bring the benefits of art to children who are in need. One beautiful thing about art is that it is a language all its own, so students would not have to speak the language of wherever they are traveling. In addition, students do not have to have artistic talent. They just need a desire to help children who are in need. Action teams will be put together for different assigned destinations (such as Mexico, China, Ecuador, Africa, etc…) Students will be taught the fundamentals skills required for the trip. Some of which include the basics of art and children discipline. In addition teams will have the opportunity to work together and fundraise for supplies and travel costs. Many major art companies are willing to sell supplies at discounts, or even donate entirely to charitable causes. By being on an action team, students will experience the benefits of community and leadership.

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