Vanessa Shipley is a Social Media Intern for the 2016-2017 Youthlinc Service Year. She and four other Interns are traveling to local service sites throughout the year to capture special Youthlinc moments between volunteers and the communities they serve. 

Volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club was so much fun.  When you’re working with little ones, it’s hard to know how things are going to go.  The teacher explained that the project was to combine paper, paint, pastels, and pictures from the ruins of Mexico to make a masterpiece.  Almost immediately, the students got straight to work on their art. You could really feel the creativity in the atmosphere.  Soon enough, the volunteers were being pulled left and right by kids who were eager to show off their artwork.

Before too long, everyone in the room was covered in chalk pastel.  What us adults might consider a mess, the kids used to their advantage.  It quickly caught on that it is lots of fun to finger paint with chalk.  It was wonderful how excited they got when they realized that their hands had become art as well.  Every pair of hands in the room was carefully drawing, painting, gluing, or smudging.  The art that was created was just as unique as the children making it.

One student in particular was really excited to be working on his art project.  He never stopped moving.  Whenever I walked by, he pulled me over and explained each section. Each time, he was very proud to show me the image that was also evolving when the collage was held upside-down.  He was the last to finish, but he didn’t mind at all, because he was so proud of his final masterpiece.

It did take a while to clean up the aftermath of the art class.  All of the tables were coated in swirls of chalk and paint, and art supplies were strewn all across the way.  Cleaning up the tables and struggling to return all of the supplies to their boxes was such a small price to pay.  Giving children the opportunity to be creative and express themselves was definitely worth the trouble.