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Children create art at Center for Environment workshop

About 80 children participated in an art workshop called “Green and Clean Air” June 21 during Arts Night Out in downtown Salisbury. It was hosted by the Center for the Environment at Catawba College.
The children created paintings, using egg cartons as paint trays on pizza box easels. They also painted clay balls as little planet Earths.
“The children knew exactly what they wanted to express,” said Helen Wu, Center intern, who, with intern David Grace, planned and orchestrated the event. “The moment their brushes touched the white paper, an expressive picture emerged — blue sky, a golden sun and green grass all in simple and bright colors. It takes a clean and loving heart to draw, and it seems that sensitivity to and love for nature starts with this.”
Students and adults also answered questions about air quality at a spinning wheel, winning books called “Why is Coco Orange?” and “The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up,” both products of the Environmental Protection Agency. Parents received Air Quality Color Guides, produced by the N.C. Division of Air Quality.
Grace said the children were timid at first about answering the questions. “But after answering correctly — or incorrectly — they became eager to instruct others on solutions to environmental problems,” he said.
Other Center for the Environment interns who helped with the event include Leslie Brown, Alex Lopez-Gutierrez and Catawba student Colleen Smiley. Grace’s and Wu’s internships are funded through the Duke University Stanback Internship Program, and those of Brown and Lopez-Guitierrez are funded through the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program of the National Science Foundation, a joint program of Catawba College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
Artist Mike Wigal also provided assistance as a volunteer as did Sarah Moore, outreach coordinator at the Center for the Environment, and John Wear, the center’s executive director.
The event was sponsored by the Center’s Campaign for Clean Air, an initiative that strives to empower citizens in Rowan and Cabarrus counties to address the air quality issues we face.

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