The Tornado's Aftermath
Class Is In
More Hospitals Need Water Slides
Two New Pools!
From 2-D to 3-D
School's Back In
Touring "Rebuilt" Joplin
From School To "Club"
Wacky Fun House
More Than An Apple For The Teacher
"I, Reememder Win The Tornado..."
Meg Bourne was an introvert as a child in Joplin, Missouri. Art class, she says, was the one place where she felt safe exploring. Years later when Bourne was volunteering in a behavioral disorder classroom in Joplin, she helped another young introvert: a boy whom she’d discovered wasn’t being fed. She got him nourished and got him to open up, through art, to exactly what trauma he experiencing at home.
The experience led Bourne to launch the not-for-profit organization Art Feeds. She and a team of volunteers began visiting Joplin elementary schools once a week for 30- to 60-minute art therapy programs for traumatized students.
Then came the tornado.
In May 2011, a ferocious twister tore through Joplin destroying schools, homes, business, and claiming 158 lives, including two students in Bourne’s program. Art Feeds responded with a unique initiative called Restore Joplin. It asked Joplin children to create either a building they wanted the new Joplin to have or a building they wanted to be rebuilt from the old Joplin.
“They blow me away every day with their creativity and their passion,” says Bourne, now 22. “You might assume that kids would just want to rebuild their own houses, but these kids rebuilt their neighbors’ houses and hospitals.” Once the students finished their drawings, their peers voted on their favorites, and the drawings were built from cardboard boxes, paint, and craft supplies. “This was their only way to rebuild Joplin,” Bourne says.
Students created this sign to welcome people to their new Joplin. Click through to see the other creations.