Thanks to Dublin Neighborhood Bridges, Dublin City School District students on the free and reduced-price lunch program have been receiving snacks on Fridays to supplement food the district has supplied.
Now the Dublin Arts Council is making sure the students are being nourished in mind as well as body.
David Guion, the arts council's executive director, said the organization has a goal to give art supplies to 500 students at $25 per student, for a total of $12,500.
The organization has raised $7,500 thus far, with donations being accepted via dublinarts.org and neighborhoodbridges.org/community/dublin-oh.
Children have been receiving meals and snacks, but they need to be active creatively as well, Guion said, and do something hands-on after spending so much time with online learning during the school year. The organization also wanted to do something since its art summer camps have been canceled this summer, he said.
Guion said the Dublin Neighborhood Bridges van that delivers snacks to students on Fridays will deliver art supplies during that time. He said he hopes to start distributing the supplies by mid month.
The supplies will include a sketch pad, colored pencils and crayons, Guion said.
"It's just a basic set of materials that can create all kinds of things," he said.
Jill Kranstuber, who together with fellow Dublin resident Sarah Savage serves as area director of Dublin Neighborhood Bridges, said the organization is excited to partner with Dublin Arts Council.
Kranstuber said Dublin Neighborhood Bridges has been distributing snacks since April on Fridays at locations where the district gives out grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches.
The district's breakfast and lunch distribution service will continue through July 31, according to its website.
Art is important for children's brains and their creativity, but supplies can be expensive, Kranstuber said. These students might not have much beyond crayons and coloring books, she said.
"I think the kids are really going to appreciate it. I think the parents are going to appreciate it," she said.
Superintendent Todd Hoadley said the initiative is another example of community entities working together.
Art is one of the ways to create divergent thinking and it promotes creativity, Hoadley said, admitting this was hard to provide to children via remote learning.
"The creativity that comes through art is so important," he said.