An International Preschool-Grade 12 Academy 

GEMS third-graders create positivity through art

The International Baccalaureate program in place at GEMS World Academy Chicago calls upon students to take action. Two of our third-graders answered the call by starting a club designed to brighten people's lives.

GEMS students Ameera and Matilda created the club, which is called Paintings for Positivity. The club’s mission is simple: Create works of art for children in nearby hospitals.

“We wanted to give paintings to brighten up a child's day if they feel lonely because they are not with their parents in the hospital,” Ameera said.

Nine classmates joined Ameera and Matilda in the club. During the course of six weeks, the students gave up their recess time to work on original paintings, with guidance provided by their classroom teacher, Kendra Cantrell, and their art teacher, Jennifer Schmidt. The students set out to use bright colors to keep their work cheerful in tone. 

"This would be a good thing because there are no negative feelings in paintings with bright colors," Matilda said.

On June 5, Ameera and Matilda brought the finished paintings to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, which provides care and therapy to people recovering from serious injury or sickness. The staff was delighted to receive the artwork, which will be displayed later this month as a temporary exhibit on floors serving children. The AbilityLab believes in the healing power of art and incorporates artwork throughout the facility.

When the exhibit closes, patients will be given the option to bring paintings home when they leave the facility.

Both students said that giving the paintings to the AbilityLab was a rewarding experience.

"It felt good giving something to someone," Matilda said. Ameera added: "We want them to see our paintings and be able to bring them home."

Congrats to Ameera and Matilda, and all the other students in Paintings for Positivity, for making a difference in the lives of Chicago children and embodying the IB Learner Profile traits of “principled” and “caring”!

See more pictures below of Ameera and Matilda's visit to the AbilityLab and a shot of the Paintings for Positivity club:


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