Kids + Art = Empowerment




Since we moved here just over a year ago, two non profit organizations that empower children through the arts have come to my attention.
This past Friday I spent the afternoon with my new friend Kathy Hrenko, an art therapist by profession, a compassionate and tireless community worker and now the Executive Director of After the Bell – http://www.afterthebell.org/ which is a supervised after school program for Kennett Middle School students that offer a wide variety of free after school activities that include art and recreational activities. On Friday, Kathy first took me to meet Barbara DesJardins this incredible visionary of what is possible for children. Barbara, an educator started Peaceworks in 1985. This is taken from their website- a colorful powerhouse of what they do: http://www.peaceworkltd.org/index.html

PeaceWork provides abused, neglected, and homeless children with the tools to create art within a safe and nurturing environment. Their artistic creations are then beautifully framed and displayed in public venues.

Meeting Barbara was inspiring to begin with, but later Kathy took me an exhibition of work created from one of their workshops. The Spirit Dolls were on display at The Three Little Pigs, a cafe in West Chester, PA. The dolls and info about PeaceWork were beautifully hung throughout the restaurant. Barbara truly lives the Ghandian (?!) quote, “Be the Change You want to see in the World.”

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