July 15, 2019

Exploring Kindness: Part 2 

Following on from our Project Coordinator’s previous blog, Becky shares the activities which Newington’s youth group Chill Club did to achieve their Arts Award Explore and try out a new Arts & Kindness theme.

Part C – Create
Make a piece of artwork and record the process

Two young people at Chill Club planned their own personal projects. Annelyse wanted to create kits to the help homeless, so she tie-dyed tote bags for holding food and toiletry donations. She embroidered a small patch to attach to a blanket, she choose a design with 3 birds sitting on a branch because ‘It is like people talking to each other and being nice’.

Abi made a large collage to go over her bed, she wanted to see a positive message every morning when she woke up. She used collage techniques to add the phrase: ‘Don’t let anyone get you down, just be yourself’ and then decorated it with imagery from magazines which inspired her to “be kind and stay calm, because sometimes she has anger issues but she wants to be a nice person”.

When planning their projects, I asked them to think about the following questions to help guide the kindness theme.

  • Is there anyone or any group of people you’d like to help?
  • What could you do to make a positive difference to their lives?
  • What things will you need to do/get to be able to achieve your goal?

Part D – Present
Record what you presented, who you presented it to

To build on the shyness that was encountered during the Discover phase of this project, for the final part of Explore I gave Abi and Annelyse a reflection template. They drew around their hands and answered one question per finger, and were tasked with sharing what they had written with at least two people and invite questions at the end.

The questions were…

  • Thumb – Which part of your Arts Award was the most fun? Why?
  • Index finger – Which part of your Arts Award are you most proud of? Why?
  • Middle finger – How was your project kind to yourself or others?
  • Ring finger – What would you do differently next time?
  • Little finger – Who did you share your work with?

The hand tool worked really well as a prompt for deep thinking, when they gave short answers I had other young people ask questions like “can you tell me more about ….”. This helped them both to really reflect on why what they had chosen to do was important to them, or how it made them feel.

While Abi & Annelyse were completing their Explore activities there were others who were still working through Discover, so all of the activities mentioned above were adapted to suit both Discover and Explore Arts Awards.

To celebrate the end of the Arts Award project and the achievements that everyone had made, I revisited the youth club a couple of months later. We had a small party to award certificates, share cakes and look back at sketchbooks. Overall there were 11 Arts Awards achieved, nine were for Discover and two were for Explore. With an average weekly attendance of 15 young people this was a great success! At the party I was able to share with them a rough draft of the logbook resource that we’d been working towards within the project – more on that when we launch the free logbook resources coming soon….

 

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