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Littleton art students donate portraits to preschoolers in Colombia

This fall, Littleton art students are sending their skills to South America for the Memory Project. Thirty-five LHS students will be creating portraits to send to preschoolers in Colombia.

The Memory Projects’ website states:

“The Memory Project is a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers, art students, and solo artists to help cultivate global kindness by creating portraits for children around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as violence, war, extreme poverty, neglect, and loss of parents. Our participants create these portraits to help children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their well being, and to provide a special childhood memory in the future. Since 2004 we have created more than 130,000 portraits for children in 47 countries.”

“The purpose is to give the child something special, and to help them develop a sense of identity,” said senior Grace Crabb.

The Memory Project sends pictures, which students then use to create the portraits. The pieces typically take about six hours to complete. Students can use their portrait as a project for school or for community service hours.

“I chose to participate because it’s an opportunity to make a child feel special and that someone cares for them even if it’s from across the globe…the organization actually sends a video of the kids receiving the drawings and captures their reactions so you can see the difference you made,” said senior Danyah Al Saaid.

Littleton started participating in the Memory Project in 2014. Originally the opportunity was only available to the more advanced Studio Art students. However, due to the success of the program at LHS, the opportunity is available to students in drawing and painting classes as well.

“It’s [a program] that we found that was really successful so that’s why we’re still doing it… we’re hoping to get at least 50 participants,” said LHS art teacher Jennifer Jeanelle.

The Memory Project is unlike many other volunteer opportunities. By using art, students are able to connect with people around the world in a positive way.

“This is different from other volunteering activities because it’s less physical and almost more spiritual. Sharing art with someone is a special experience,” said Crabb.

If you would like to find out more about the Memory Project, visit their website at https://www.memoryproject.org/about.