In January, the program I'd like to highlight is the Adopt Me Portraits for ARF. This program combined art with community service and allowed children to help animals in need. It was a new and different program than what we normally offer, and children and parents really loved it!
Library programmer Theresa Maritato visited the library for the first time to conduct this feel-good event. The concept of the Adopt Me Portraits program is for children to paint portraits of different shelter animals that are in need of a forever home. Children are greeted with pictures of different shelter animals upon arrival and are given a little summary about the animal and how they came to be at the shelter. From there, children choose an animal to paint and then create a portrait based upon the picture provided. The portraits are sketched on paper first and then painted onto canvas. The finished products are given to the animal shelter to help them promote the adoption of the animal. Upon adoption, the animal's new mom or dad will get the canvas to take home!
For our version of this program, Theresa and I chose to work with ARF (Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons) as it is the closest animal shelter to our library. We had 17 children and parents attend this program and create portraits for the shelter! The children did a wonderful job creating likenesses of the animals and were very interested in learning more about the potential pets.
I loved this program because it not only had the children exercise their creativity, but it also allowed them to give back to a worthy cause. Their artwork is going to help a wonderful animal find their forever home, and it also taught the children in attendance about the importance of helping others in their community. The children and parents really enjoyed the event and I got great feedback about it. If you missed out on this event, I am inviting Theresa back to do a similar program in June, so keep an eye out for that! For a listing of our upcoming events, click here and to support ARF or check out their adoptable animals, click here!