Have you read Sky Color with your kids yet? Peter Reynold's newest children's picture book on creativity is about a young girl who is in charge of painting the sky in the class mural. When she notices that she is out of blue paint, she learns to think outside the stereotypical object-color identification system and really observe all the colors that the sky can be.
Riding home in the school bus, she sees the sky at sunset, bright with oranges and yellows.
The next day is rainy and the sky is decidely not blue.
Inspired by her observations as well as a vivid dream, she paints the mural sky as a riot of color.
Rather than a hindrance, the lack of blue in her paint box became the catalyst for creative growth. What an inspiring story for young artists!
I just took a look at Peter's website and was touched by his "'campaign' to make the world a more creative place." He says,
The next time you're thinking about what gift to give someone, think of something that will encourage creativity. Whether it's a blank journal or book on crafts, a set of watercolors or a guide to making films, a stationery set or a watercolor brush – let it be something that inspires expression. Children and grown up children need to be encouraged to consume less, and create more.
By the way, if you'd like to help supply some children with sketchbooks and art materials, I recently received a note from an art teacher in Brooklyn who is asking for donations to help equip her students with basic art supplies for an arts program that is not funded by her school.
To donate any amount or to see the supplies you will be helping to buy, click here.
If you want to learn more about what the art supplies will be used for, this is what Tempest, the art teacher, said in her e-mail:
Recently, I've been volunteering my time with Exceed's 1st Academy: a small class of students who are having difficulties being in a regular school program because of either behavioral or academic problems. 1st Academy removes them from the regular school program and puts them in a smaller class where they can receive more focused attention. The guidance counselor works with them on character development, and I've been working in tandem with the counselor to develop an arts program that supports this using art therapy as a theological base. We've done lots of different projects from puppets to story-stones, all designed to develop the kid's confidence and encourage self-talk, identifying emotions, and team-work.
For the semester, we would really like to provide each child with a journal and a box of basic art materials that they can keep and work in outside of class. If you ever had a sketchbook as a kid, you know how invaluable this would be (both for them and for us). However, since this is not a funded school program, we are trying to raise money through the community; both the online and brick-and-mortar one. We were hoping that you might be able to post a plea for donations through your blog, or through your social networks (we only have until the 25th to raise the money!). It's all done through Dick Blick Art Supplies, and they will only allow us to purchase the supplies we have listed, so you know the donations are safe and secure. We aren't asking for large donations; we're hoping people can pitch in whatever they can–even just $5–and it will add up.