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Students Launch Art Project to Support Children and Families Receiving Services at Hands

Posted on: October 16th, 2015

(North Bay, ON)  Grade 11 students from Widdifield Secondary School are creating an inspiring artwork display to help provide a welcoming environment for children, youth and families receiving services from Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca. Students, teachers and staff launched the art project with a viewing of the future art gallery wall at Hands’ 222 Main Street East location on Friday October 2, 2015.

Grade 11 art students from Widdifield Secondary School visit Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca and tour the display space in preparation for their community art project.

Grade 11 art students from Widdifield Secondary School visit Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca and tour the display space in preparation for their community art project.

Students from both the Visual Arts and the Non-Traditional Community Arts programs at Widdifield Secondary School are taking part in the project. The classes are learning about Hands’ services, as well as the importance and delicate nature of the work. The art display will focus on positivity and support, as many of the children and youth coming through the space are receiving help in facing and working through social, emotional, behavioural, physical and developmental difficulties.

Teachers Samara Paleczny and Kirsten Smith are leading this community art project. Samara Paleczny, who teaches the Non-Traditional Community Arts class, commented “This project not only teaches students how to work collaboratively and problem-solve, it shows how visual art can be a powerful language to communicate a positive message.  It also heightens awareness of the role of Hands’ programs in our community and makes for a meaningful community partnership.”

 The students and staff plan to debut the art display at the end of the semester, early 2016.

 “We are thrilled to have these young folks here helping us to create a space that children, youth and families coming through our doors will connect with. It is a great opportunity for us to partner with local students, and we can’t wait to see the finished product,” said Jeffrey Hawkins, Executive Director with Hands TheFamilyHelpNetwork.ca.  “Last year alone, our team at Hands provided more than 14,000 services to help and support children, youth and families.”

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