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Concrete Boys & Girls Club youth find art in nature

Jan 26th, 2019 | Category: Crafts
Rocks—we see them every day. We walk on them. We pass by them. We build with them. We say, “that rocks!” when we hear a good band play or eat a delicious dinner. But how can we incorporate them into a learning experience or use them to expand our creative minds?
The youth at Concrete Elementary Boys & Girls Club can show you. On Jan. 7, 2019, a group of youth learned about how rocks from the Skagit River are formed while expressing their individuality by painting them in unique designs.rocks web
Club member Bristol R. said, “I really like mixing colors together and making new colors.” Her rock will be used as a present to her uncle, “who I don’t get to see very often.”
When starting the lesson, Youth Development Professional Bryer Button, who spends most of his free time thinking of ideas to incorporate nature into art projects with his family, welcomed all youth into the activity and expressed his love for painting rocks. “My family and I use wooden planks, canvas, or anything we can get our hands on to paint. It sometimes takes me a while to think what the painting should be, but with rocks—rocks know what they want to be.”

Some youth, like Elijah T., come from families that also practiced painting rocks. He painted grass, trees, and a heart on his rock. “My whole family used to paint on rocks, my grandmother, my aunt, my mom. I’m going to give my rock to my mom as a present!” Elijah exclaimed as he showed the green grass on the side of his rock.

Sam, a fifth grader, expressed how much she enjoys doing art at the Boys & Girls Club. While in school, art is offered weekly, “where we can do painting and drawing,” Boys & Girls Club offers art daily, including painting, drawing, creating bird feeders, making dream catchers, and of course, painting rocks.
Art is one of the busiest and most popular activities offered at the Concrete Elementary Boys & Girls Club. Each youth is encouraged to participate at least once a week. While free art is sometimes offered, most art lessons are created to incorporate learning into the creative sphere. As the painting flooded the art room, Bryer gave a short lesson on how river rocks are formed. Bristol R., a first grader, explained that “Big rocks break into pieces by smashing together and create littler rocks.”
River rocks are formed by the rapid movement of water in a river, and with that water, smaller debris, sediment, and silt erode the bigger rocks at the bottom of the river. Each rock is unique and personalized by hundreds of thousands of years in the water, eroding with time and persistence. Now some river rocks in Concrete have been personalized by local youth, as well.

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