Local business partners with Alabama nonprofit to provide art history lessons to children

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The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama received 3,000 “My Artist” boxes from Kids Art Box as part of their art program serving children in 12 locations. Kids Art Box is a family-owned business that uses the Montessori method to teach children ages 3-12 how to create art. The Boys & Girls Club received a federal grant through the Department of Education to purchase the kits for the next three years. The kits come with all the necessary supplies and step-by-step instructions to complete monthly projects. The Chief Executive Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Alabama, Tim Wills, says the organization had to make vital changes last year when the pandemic began. Staff began offering virtual resources through STEM, art, and music programs. Wills says his staff put together art kits every week, packing more than 800 bags a week for students in the program. “Packing our own art kits took a lot of time and resources, but at the time, we couldn’t find an art company that figured out how to teach art history out of a box. We finally found Kids Art Box online and the benefit is that everything the children need to do the project is in the kits.” Wills says the art projects enhance a student’s creativity and critical learning skills. Before the pandemic began, art was already being phased out of many schools across the country; when virtual learning became widespread, art classes became almost nonexistent. Founder of Kids Art Box Melanie Phillips says there are few full, in-depth classes dedicated to teaching children about an artist’s history in a fun and engaging way. “The “My Artist” box takes abstract lessons about an artist, the historical period, and the type of art and makes it hands-on. Children get a chance to be immersed in the artist’s life, style, and work, while giving freedom to express their own creativity in the style of the artist, making the learning experience much more engaging,” said Phillips. Usually $35, Kids Art Box sells the “My Artist” boxes for $25 when nonprofits or educators buy in bulk. If you are an educator or nonprofit interested in purchasing boxes through the Department of Education grant, please visit kidsartbox.com.