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Art contest supports healthy family relationships

SUGAR GROVE – The Kindness Campaign was invited to co-host its first art contest at the recent Kaneland Fine Arts Festival. That resulted in students’ winning entries to become part of a permanent collection of the Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation, a Geneva-based charity.

“They partnered with us to do an art competition,” said Maria Dripps-Paulson, auditorium manager and executive director of the Kaneland Arts Initiative.” They wanted to have artwork created to portray these specific guidelines, [and] through the Kindness Campaign, they made that connection with us.”

The Kindness Campaign encourages and celebrates kindness in the Kaneland community. The Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation works with parents to improve the social-emotional learning and self-control for the full well-being of children of all families. 

“We had these guidelines to work with. Some were simple, some were complex,” Dripps-Paulson said. “Like, ‘How do I show love?’ It encouraged families to do it together. Family units worked on them collaboratively. These pieces will become part of a permanent art collection, so when somebody comes to their facility, they will see this ... this guideline displayed in an artistic fashion.”

The foundation’s executive director, Kimberly Svevo-Cianci, said organizers were pleased with the response to their partnership.

The foundation provided its eight guidelines for positive parent-child interaction and had nearly 60 entries from students, and students with parents, from first grade through high school, Svevo-Cianci said.

“I’m sure we will have many more submissions next year for our second annual event,” Svevo-Cianci said. “Kaneland Festival Art Director Maria Dripps-Paulson was fantastic in making this happen, and we have interest from other communities now also.”

Winners of the 2014 Changing Children’s Worlds art contest were:

• Best of Show: “The World of the Family” by Emma and Karly Mannia, John Stewart Elementary.

• First place for kindergarten through fifth grade art: “No Training Wheels Day” by Lucy Wold, John Stewart Elementary.

• Second place “Embracing Love” by Ava Falk; third place “Love and Joy” by Sarah Molitor, John Stewart Elementary School.

• First place for sixth through 12th grade art was a Ceramic House by Peter Jefferson, Kaneland High School.

• First place for ninth-12th grade photography was “The Definition of Love” by Shannon Gilkey, Kaneland High School.

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