2,000 Local Children DARE to Draw Attention to Aboriginal Kids in Need

Cooper T. from St. Benedict School shows off a beautiful ocean sunrise!

As fall arrives and the Headwaters Arts Festival is in full swing, darearts is proud to once again have worked with over 2,000 local children and teens who created original darearts cards to sell and help other kids in need. darearts ‘DARE to Draw Attention’ is an 8 year old program run in collaboration with Caledon and Dufferin-Peel region schools. Previously, it was called ‘Children For Peace’. By daring themselves to create art to help other kids, local young people are learning to appreciate the value of helping others.

In the ‘DARE to Draw Attention’ program, kids in their schools create original darearts cards as part of the Headwaters Arts Festival. The kids choose their medium – from paint, pencil crayons, pastels to a variety of other mediums. Their cards are then sold at a suggested donation of $5 each. Schools are given the option to sell the cards themselves, holding onto $2 per card to help support their own activities, or to return the cards to darearts to be sold to individuals and corporations.

Madison from Alton P.S. displays her awesome creativity!

This year’s Headwaters schools participating included Alton P.S., Belfountain P.S., Credit Meadows Elementary, Erin D.H.S., Good Shepherd Elementary, Headwater Hills Montessori, Herb Campbell P.S., King’s College School, Mayfield S.S., Montgomery Village P.S., Parkinson Centennial P.S., Princess Elizabeth P.S., Robert H. Lagerquist Sr. P.S., St. Benedict School, and St. Peter School. Local arts professional Sharon Wadsworth-Smith also worked with several classes, teaching painting techniques to young creative minds.

In the past, darearts worked in cooperation with the international children’s peace movement, `Children with love, Children for Peace’, and NATO peacekeepers. Over one million children around the world have participated since the start of the program, and past cards have bought ambulances and a ‘bigfoot’ landmine remover plus rebuilt schools in Bosnia, Africa and Afghanistan.

Megan and Terry from St. Benedict School proudly showcase their masterpieces.

Due to the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan, cards can no longer be sent to give to children who are victims of war, so the focus of the card project has shifted to another issue that is very dear in the hearts of everyone across Canada. Our own Aboriginal communities are fighting a war of their own at home, a war that has been left to the youth to fight. Every day, thousands of young Canadians are faced with limited access to clean drinking water, substandard schools or even no schools at all, limited fresh fruits and vegetables, along with many other challenges. The result has been pervasive drug abuse and many teen suicides.

Julia R. from Mayfield Secondary School keeps her art full of optimism and hope!

For the fifth consecutive year, darearts is working with children in Webequie, Sioux Lookout and Ogoki Post in northern Ontario to help them find courage and confidence to fight for themselves, to give them a voice. Proceeds from the sale of our local children’s cards will help darearts continue to help Aboriginal youth across Canada to wage war against poor nutrition, substance abuse and teen suicide.

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