For Immediate Release
Contact: Deb Litman
Allegany Arts Council to provide free creativity kits to kids
CUMBERLAND, MD—The Allegany Arts Council, in collaboration with the Judy Center which has pledged $3,500 to the project, distributed 700 personal creativity kits to Allegany County public elementary school students receiving free lunches.
The program, entitled “SMARTIES: Growing Kids through the Arts,” is the result of a collaboration which began in 2019 with the Summer Lunch Box program, a privately-funded initiative which provides more than 800 daily lunches to children across Allegany County. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, this year the program has been managed directly through funding by ACPS.
The goal of the program is to provide creative, simple and artistic supplies to children who receive free lunches, who may not have access to the internet or virtual programs, or who don’t have the resources to purchase art supplies. The kits include four coloring sheets developed in connection with the Allegany County Tourism Department, crayons, colored pencils, sidewalk chalk, a colorful scarf, stickers, a writing prompt and journal, and a list of simple art activities. The kits are best utilized by children in elementary school.
“In a time when families and children in our community are looking at more unstructured and socially distant time, creativity becomes that much more important,” says Julie Westendorff, Arts Council Executive Director. “We are delighted to again have the opportunity to work with the Judy Center, who has proven to be a powerful partner in reaching children in our community. We also want to thank the principals of 15 schools across the County, who, in addition to everything else they have happening, have allowed us the opportunity to undertake this project.”
The kits were delivered to schools beginning the week of August 10.