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When Nadia Zendejas was asked what her nine-year-old son, Sebastian, missed about school since being closed due to COVID, her response was immediate, “The celebrations, the community, the feeling of togetherness – it was all torn away.” But she quickly added,However, after the tears and facing the fears, we started to focus on the positive.”   

Sebastian and his 4th grade classmates are looking forward to the exciting community mural project between Art in Action and Adelante-Selby Spanish Immersion School in Redwood City, California. Sebastian shared, “It was fun talking about what needed to be on the mural. I can’t wait to see my friends and paint OUR mural!” The mural design, “Connection, Community, and Hope,” is based on the students’ discussions about their post-pandemic future. The project showcases how art allows children to translate their emotions into images and provides an outlet to express their hopes and dreams. Nadia explained, “This mural will have a profound impact on these kids and this generation. Even when we were apart because of the pandemic, we were able to do this together. This is why art, and this Art in Action project, is important to them and our community.”

Art in Action and community partners, like Adelante-Selby Spanish Immersion School, are focused on a bright, post-COVID future. This positive outlook is due to your support and we are truly grateful. It has given us the “lift” needed to develop innovative online art lessons, flexible hybrid teaching tools, and the ability to establish new, dynamic projects like the community mural.

As the nation starts to reawaken, plans are being prepared for summer activities and the coming school year. There is critical focus on our children’s social-emotional wellness as educators struggle to bridge academic gaps throughout the country, but most profoundly in under-resourced communities. Arts education is being called upon to support these educational goals.

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Thank you for your support and being a part of the Art in Action community.

A friendly reminder: The 2020 CARES Act allows individual taxpayers, taking the standard deduction (non-itemizing), an “above the line” charitable income tax deduction up to $300. Please consult your tax advisor with any questions; this is not tax advice.