Serving as a DrawBridge Facilitator Creates Joy for Everyone!
Susan Peterson is in the enviable position of witnessing the positive impact of her work. As a Facilitator for three weekly DrawBridge groups (most Facilitators have one group), Susan sees firsthand the value of the time she spends with kids.
“We are creating a world of pleasure, joy and laughter for one hour every week that these kids can count on. We are expanding their creative experiences by introducing them to a wide variety of art materials and giving them a chance to explore things they may not have any other opportunity to experience.”
As an artist in residence in the public schools, Susan notes that many elementary school-aged kids have very limited experience with art making.
“Too many kids are insecure about making art because they have had so little experience, but when given the opportunity, their creativity is great. I give them an idea, just a prompt, and they run with it. Their creativity is amazing and they always exceed my expectations – not that I try to have any!”
Susan says that site managers where she brings the DrawBridge program have told her that teachers report that the kids are calmer the day after they have had a DrawBridge group. Susan also notes that as a result of regular Drawbridge attendance, children soon have a greater attention span. Many have improved social skills and are better able to interact with one another. She also sees how generous the children can be, once they feel comfortable in the group.
“We have brought them from no art experience to being very proud of themselves. There are moments when they can’t wait to show their parents what they’ve made. They will often make something to give to every single family member. That’s the kind of love that’s coming out of them.”
After more than a decade of facilitating for DrawBridge, usually with more than one group, Susan says it is her way of being a part of the solution, doing something positive for one of the most critical societal issues – homelessness.
“We’re just having a very good time. A lot of these kids have experienced horrible things, so if we can give them an hour of pure joy, we’ve done our job.”
If you are interested in volunteering or facilitating a DrawBridge art group, please visit http://www.drawbridge.org/volunteer/ or contact Beth@drawbridge.org.