Dr. Margolis & Graduate Students Uplift K-12 Students Through Art

Kids for Kids: Sketching Me & You is a project aimed at uplifting youth through art, while developing empathy and literacy skills in K-12 students. The team consists of the School of Education's very own Dr. Jason Margolis (Department of Instruction & Leadership in Education professor) and graduate students: Erika Rasmussen (MAT Secondary Education English student) and Veronica Derickson (Ph.D. School Psychology student). This project was made possible through Dr. Margolis' $112,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Two Superhero figures with the following text Kids for Kids Mascot by Artist Kevin LeavyEvery month from January through April, 60 young student artists will produce a piece of art for a peer who is facing difficult circumstances. School staff from our partner districts will select K-12 student artists whose social, emotional and academic development would benefit from participation. The receiving students will write about themselves and what they are experiencing, which will serve as inspiration for the artwork. Thus, by the end of April, 240 children will have received personalized, hand-made art inspired based on information they have shared about themselves. The team's hope is that the recipients will be encouraged by the empathy of members of the community. Kids for Kids is partnering with 7 local organizations, including the Watson Institute.

Erika and Veronica share some reflections of their work on this project with Dr. Margolis:

We are incredibly excited to see what our students create and what social, emotional and academic strides they make in the process!

-Erika Rasmussen, MAT Secondary English Education student

My hope for my work on the project is that I am able to facilitate the student artists in learning about their own capabilities to help others and in turn, help the kids facing various hardships feel seen and hopefully bring some light to otherwise dark times.

-Veronica Derickson, Ph.D. School Psychology student

Image of Kids for Kids Mascots is by artist Kevin Leary