Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kids’ artwork making a world of difference

As posted by the Lethbridge Herald, October 29, 2014.

By Nick Kuhl
Lethbridge Herald

Grade 2 and 3 students at Westminster Elementary School are already learning about the importance of helping others.

As part of a project launched by the new non-profit organization Kids’ Art for a Cause, the children have created a series of paintings with starry skies symbolizing that everyone sleeps under the same sky and everyone deserves a good sleep.

They have then been selling the works online to raise money for the charity Sleeping Children Around the World, which provides bedkits to children in developing countries.

“It’s curriculum driven; in social studies, we’re learning about quality of life and so I wanted to choose something tangible that kids understand,” said Grant Bertamini, a Grade 2/3 teacher at Westminster Elementary School and the founder and president of Kids’ Art for a Cause.

“We looked at some pictures of kids’ sleeping conditions in different parts of the world. For some kids, where they sleep is downright unsafe. What it all comes back to for us, is we’re trying to improve somebody’s quality of life.”

“We started painting because some people don’t have beds,” said student Kadence Boyle, 8.

The paintings have been up for sale on the website, with 14 having been sold as of Monday afternoon and seven still available.

Bertamini said the idea behind starting Kids’ Art for a Cause was to employ a streamlined process for donating money to charity. He incorporated the organization, earned the non-profit status and got a sponsor to cover all of the overhead costs, ensuring that all donations go directly to the charity.

Kids’ Art for a Cause is also planning to develop other fundraising projects with groups of kids in other schools, as well as youth groups, beginning next year.

“One of the points of this is that we raise money for charity. But that’s almost secondary,” Bertamini said.

“The bigger thing for me is that we’re showing kids that if there’s something about the world that you don’t like, you can change it. If they grow up feeling like they can drive positive change, then they’ll grow up to be difference makers.”