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Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg, Parkersburg Art Center providing supplies for children

Parkersburg WTAP-TV logo Parkersburg WTAP-TV 1/21/2021 Sarah Cooke
a close up of a colorful background: Wikimedia Commons © Provided by Parkersburg WTAP-TV Wikimedia Commons

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The Boys & Girls Club of Parkersburg and the Parkersburg Art Center are continuing to work together to provide “take and make”  art bags, filled with art and school supplies, for children whose families are members of the Club.

Previous to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parkersburg Art Center received support from the Neighborhood Investment Program to engage in arts-related educational activities, and the Art Center had been working with the Club to provide after-school arts activities to children. Then, when the pandemic hit, both organizations wanted to continue providing arts education, and decided to create and provide the bags.

Different bags are available to children and teens, and include a range of supplies and instructions for creative activities. Some of the recent activities include coffee painting and foil sculptures, among many others.

In addition, the Art Center provides similar bags for an after-school program run by the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia at Jefferson Elementary. The Club’s middle and high school bags also receive grant funding from 21st Century.

According to the Club, families have provided positive feedback about the program, noting that they are appreciative of the opportunity to provide their children with fun and educational activities that can be done at home as the pandemic continues.

Instructors have enjoyed the bags, as well.

“The after-school instructors like them a lot because they’re helping kids with homework and doing other activities, so trying to plan for artful things in addition to that can be difficult. It’s very nice for them to have something creative to give the students that has all of the parts. [Instructions on] how to do the lesson, all the materials they need to complete it...it’s all right there for them,” said Jessie Siefert, managing director and Education Director for the Art Center.

The Boys & Girls Club has an art show coming up February 18 that will be held virtually, and the organization encourages children who have created works of art using the bag to submit them to be featured during the show.

The Boys & Girls Club is currently closed to the public due to possible COVID-19 exposure. However, families who would like to pick up their bags can still pick them up curbside, with a contactless exchange. The Club anticipates reopening on February 1.

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