The Presses Are Rolling!

KSW Newtown Book CoverWe are proud to be a Nonprofit 501c3 Organization!

After a fun and fruitful spring workshop—followed by a busy summer of editing and page design—we are thrilled to announce that the KIDS SHARE NEWTOWN book will be arriving this fall! Here’s a sneak peek at the cover, illustrated by the talented Katherine Potter and designed by the endlessly creative Kris Pfeifer of Pfeifer Design. Please keep in mind that these ladies, like the rest of the Kids Share Workshops crew, are volunteers who donated a significant chunk of their valuable time to our project. Huge thanks to them both! We are very fortunate to have them on our team.

We are also very fortunate and immensely grateful for Frank and Sue Brummett, our generous friends at BerylMartin Graphics, who have offered to print the first run of our KSW Newtown book for free! Thanks to them, each of our young artists and authors will receive a published copy of their work—and countless others will have the chance to see it!

Frank Brummett of BerylMartin Graphics

Our handsome and generous printer, Frank Brummett.

As Frank and Sue are preparing the presses, we’re working to arrange a school assembly or other presentation in Newtown so our KSW authors and artists can show off their book to the community. Stay tuned for details…and please let us know if you can help! Donations of time, funds and services are always needed.

As always, thank you for your interest and support. We look forward to returning to Newtown very soon, books in hand! In the meantime, click here to view photos, meet our fantastic volunteers and read about how the 2013 Kids Share Newtown workshop unfolded day by day.

What’s In a Name?

You once knew us as KSW. From now on, you can call us KSWP. As of September 2013, Kids Share Workshops has become incorporated in the state of Vermont as Kids Share Workshops and Publishing Inc., with a pending 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax status from the IRS. This means that all donations to KSWP from now on will be tax-deductible! It also qualifies our organization for certain grants that can help us expand our program to further communities throughout the world!
To learn more about Kids Share Workshops and Publishing Inc. and our crosscultural workshops, including how you can contribute time, supplies or funding, please visit our main website.

Thank you for helping us to awaken the artist and author inside every child!

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KSW Newtown Registration Is Now Closed

We are thrilled to say that we have reached our full enrollment of 30 children for the April workshop at Newtown Youth Academy!

Thanks to all who have helped us spread the word! We look forward to seeing our new artists and authors in action, and to sharing their work with you soon. Come back frequently to follow their progress online!

Creatively yours,

Kids Share Newtown Directors

Giving Newtown Kids a Voice

Volunteer organization Kids Share Workshops will help Newtown children express themselves through the creation of a book.

Download the  Kids Share Newtown Release.

NEWTOWN, CONN., FEB. 22, 2013: Kids Share Workshops, a volunteer arts enrichment program devoted to awakening the artist and author in every child, is coming to Newtown in April to help its youngest residents tell their stories.

From April 2–12, the organization will lead an after-school workshop at the Newtown Youth Academy in which local children ages 8 to 14, many of them from Sandy Hook Elementary School, will write personal narratives and paint pictures on several themes. The tenor of the workshop will be upbeat and positive, with professional art therapists, teachers and other volunteers gently guiding children to express what they love about Newtown. Their work will ultimately be published as a book.

“This gives the children of Newtown a chance to explain to the world who they are: ‘This is our town and why we love it,’” said Kristen Casey Marshall, a Kids Share volunteer whose three children attend Sandy Hook Elementary School. “We’re doing this so that the world doesn’t just see images of devastation when they hear our name—so they see the beauty of Newtown through the eyes of the children who live here.”

“We are taking the utmost care to be compassionate and thoughtful in every aspect of building this program,” said program director Kristina Applegate, who grew up in nearby Ridgefield, Conn., and founded Kids Share Workshops in 2007. “Our goal is to give the kids in Newtown a voice. We want to show Newtown as a vibrantly creative community, and ultimately to express its strength, foster hope for its future, and help to heal some hearts along the way.”

Among the team of 20 volunteers are several of Applegate’s former Ridgefield High School classmates, including Marshall, creative director Jennifer Ponte Canning, graphic designer Kris Shonk Pfeifer and curriculum writer Lauren Gordon Lee. The team came together after Applegate posted her desire to bring a workshop to Connecticut on Facebook, and received an overwhelming response.

“This is my sixth year of running Kids Share Workshops, and it is by far our largest team of professional volunteers and directors to date,” said Applegate, whose previous programs involved exchanges between students in Vermont and their counterparts in Central America and India. While passionate about using art to build cross-cultural bridges around the world, Applegate felt strongly that the KSW curriculum could make a positive impact in Newtown as well.

Others share that sentiment. Kids Share has received a warm welcome in Connecticut, notably from the Newtown Youth Academy, which is providing classroom space for the workshop. The non-profit sports and fitness facility has been a haven for area families since Dec. 14, offering escape through activities and events, including a recent visit from the Boston Bruins hockey team. A portion of any proceeds from the Kids Share Newtown book will benefit the NYA so it can continue to serve the community.

AWARD-WINNING BOOKS

This is not Kids Share’s first foray into publishing. In 2010, the organization received the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) Bridge to Understanding Award for its volume of artwork and essays by children living in India and the U.S. The book was the result of a multipart workshop with children from the Tibetan SOS Children’s Village in Bylakuppe, India, and those attending Union Elementary School in Montpelier, Vt., and Thatcher Brook Primary School in Waterbury, Vt. A copy of the book resides at the Library of Congress.

While previous KSW books were self-published with the help of donations, however, Kids Share Newtown is actively seeking a contract with a major publishing house to produce this particularly meaningful message to the world. Many Newtown families, moved by the overwhelming response to the events of Dec. 14, are grasping for ways to express their appreciation.

“How can we ever say thank you for this outpouring of support?” asked Kristen Casey Marshall, the Sandy Hook parent and KSW volunteer. “Now, I’ll be able to give someone a book that says it beautifully.”

KSW is seeking experienced illustrators to bring together children’s paper art in collage to be featured in the book. Those interested should send samples of their work to Kristina Applegate at kidsshareworkshops@gmail.com or via priority mail to 405 Haggett Road, Montpelier, VT 05602.

The Kids Share Newtown workshop will take place Tuesdays through Fridays, 4:30–6:30 p.m., from April 2–12 at Newtown Youth Academy, 4 Primrose Rd. in Newtown, Conn. (on the former Fairfield Hills campus). Workshop enrollment is limited to 30 children. At press time, 13 spots for Newtown residents aged 10 through 14 were still open. Online registration is available at http://www.kidssharenewtown.wordpress.com/workshop.

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Kids Share Workshops is to inspire creativity and self-expression in children through arts enrichment; to foster understanding through cross-cultural activities; and to empower young people through education.

Kids Share Workshops, L3C (nonprofit/low-profit hybrid), is an arts enrichment program that recognizes each child as a vibrant and creative individual, and strives to awaken the author and artist inside each of them. KSW connects volunteers from professional backgrounds to youth from around the world through the co-creation of visual and literary art, with team-building principles and cross-cultural understanding at the heart of its curriculum.

Attention Illustrators & Filmmakers!

KSW is seeking experienced illustrators to bring together children’s paper art in collage to be featured in the Kids Share Newtown book. Those interested should send samples of their work to Kristina Applegate at kidsshareworkshops@gmail.com or via priority mail to 405 Haggett Road, Montpelier, VT 05602.

We are also looking for a documentary filmmaker to follow our workshop progress so we can share it with the wider community at a future celebration and on our website. Please contact Kristina Applegate or Jennifer Canning.

Please keep in mind that these are volunteer positions, as are all KSW roles at this point.

Thank you!

Call for Volunteers!

Want to be a hero? Join us at the Kids Share Newtown Workshop, scheduled for early spring 2013. We are still seeking volunteers to help secure funding and supplies. We would love to hear from you! Please contact Kristina Applegate at kidsshareworkshops@gmail.com to express interest.

Jeanne Volunteer with kids

Details on workshop dates, times and curriculum will be posted here as soon as they are finalized. Stay tuned! Better yet, sign up at right to receive email updates as they are posted, and be sure to follow us on Facebook.