Community Stepping Stones: How Kids Feel About the Oil Spill

THEY SAY NO ONE LEARNS LIKE THE TEACHER. How True! I’ve been guiding a group of young people at Community Stepping Stones in Sulphur Springs, Tampa. They vary in age from ten years old to eighteen.  Community Stepping Stones is a superb after-school program in a neighborhood that normally isn’t able to afford this kind of cultural assistance, but thanks to a dedicated team of artists and volunteers, lives are being changed.

The kids are creating illustrations of Gulf marine animals and illustrating words to demonstrate their feelings about the oil spill. We’re posting them on an 8’x8′ painted display and creating public art for the local community.

We also plan to make a poster of it and send it to President Obama and a variety of other public leaders, along with a letter the kids are composing.  The kids want a voice in what’s going on because it’s their future that’s being effected.  After reading drafts of the kids’ letters and seeing their poignant artwork – I’m starting to understand how how upset they are. Community Stepping Stones is located on the Hillsborough River, so they feel a close association to the water creatures (yesterday we had manatee swimming just off the banks.)

We’ll be finished with this project soon, and we’ll have an official coming out party on July 13, but here’s a sneak peak of how the art is coming. (click the picture to see the whole image.)

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