Ferguson teacher talks about using Painting for Peace in class

Cristina Stoverink lives and works in Ferguson as a teacher at Central Elementary School, where she's led first-grade classes for six years. During this particularly challenging school year, she's struggled to find answers for her students when they asked why anyone would want to hurt the Little Caesar's pizza place on North Florissant — a favorite of theirs. They also wonder aloud why they couldn't make the 10-minute walk from their school to the Ferguson Fire Department for a field trip. Instead, they had to take a bus. Or why, during some challenging days, they could not take recess outside. Stoverink said she ordered Painting for Peace in Ferguson as soon as she became aware of it, just

Grateful for a wonderful new review

We're deeply grateful for a new review of "Painting for Peace in Ferguson" from the Midwest Book Review, which was established in 1976, and is "committed to promoting literacy, library usage, and small press publishing." You can find the review on this page, but we also reprint it here in its entirety, with permission: "Painting for Peace in Ferguson" is the stunning result of a native artist's compassionate response to the boarded up storefronts of Ferguson that resulted from the violence and racism of 2014. "Painting for Peace in Ferguson" shows the amazing results that stem from members of a community, black and white, coming together to create a new, vibrant, healing vision expressed thr

Reminded of a Sept. 11 book by first-graders

Susan Shelton knows a little something about using children’s literature to help students cope with overwhelming turmoil. The Hazelwood School District elementary school teacher used a book written by first graders, in the years following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The book was called September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right, a picture story that reassured children after the terrorist attacks, written by Darlene Robertson’s first-grade students in Kennett, Mo. The book earned the class honors from publisher Scholastic. Shelton, who lives in the city of St. Louis, told us that book helped her create a safe environment for children to talk about their concerns, fears and questions

'I believe in the power of art'

If you didn't get a chance to see our longer video about Painting for Peace in Ferguson, here's another chance to take a look. This captures the energy, love and community commitment of so many people who had a hand in making this project happen — and who wanted to bring a measure of light and hope to the community after the events in Ferguson. Here's a few of the telling quotes from the video: "It’s just amazing that art brought this community together." "I had my windows all broken out on the 24th of November, but I had beautiful pictures on the windows just the day after. They did a beautiful job." “Bringing some light to a community that needed a reason to smile." “I believe in the power

An exciting week in the community

This has been a big week for Painting for Peace in Ferguson. The support for the project has been amazing. Here's a rundown of what's happened in the past few days. St. Louis Public Library About 50 people joined us for our panel discussion Monday evening at the St. Louis County Library, which featured experts in art therapy and patient advocacy. We talked to Rebeccah Bennett, founder of St. Louis’ Emerging Wisdom LLC, who graciously served as our moderator for the discussion. Art therapist Dana Sebastian-Duncan, a volunteer for the Ferguson Youth Initiative, spoke about artwork as a means for parents and other adults to engage children in a conversation about difficult topics. Using art as

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