While teachers and families begin to enjoy the spring season here in Florida, they are encouraged to involve their young students and children in an art project that will create an impact on lawmakers in March. Children’s Week’s “Give Us a Hand” campaign asks children throughout Florida to send decorated paper cut-outs of their hands to Children’s Week organizers, who will put them on display inside the Capitol rotunda from March 26-31. Children may include their name on their artwork along with a message to legislators.
The hand artwork is meant to convey a message to lawmakers – to “give us a hand” during the upcoming legislative session on funding and policy decisions that promote the health, safety and well-being of children in Florida. Last year, more than 100,000 paper hand cut-outs were collected and transformed into an impactful exhibition.
“The hands show decision makers a visual representation of the vast number of children their decisions affect. We hope that legislators will see the thousands of hands – see the personalization of each one – and envision the children who made them,” said Jason Zaborske, statewide coordinator for Children’s Week.
To have your students’ or child’s artwork displayed in the Capitol rotunda during Children’s Week, it must be postmarked by March 10 and sent to the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend Region c/o Children’s Week, 2639 N. Monroe St. Building C, Tallahassee, FL 32303. Alternatively, you may contact your local coordinator through the Children’s Week website and they will see all submissions turned in to them are received. You can also share photos of their artwork on social media using the hashtag #GiveUsAHand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram from now until March 23; everyone who shares a photo will be entered to win one of three prizes for best individual hand art, best group piece and most creative.
The Hanging of the Hands ceremony is the hallmark of Children’s Week – an annual weeklong celebration at the Capitol which serves as a platform for numerous organizations to advocate for children and family issues to Florida lawmakers. Many of the organizations participating in Children’s Week also will hold local events leading up to Children’s Week at the Capitol.
In addition to the Hanging of the Hands ceremony on March 26, various events and activities are scheduled to take place during Children’s Week, including an interactive storybook village for children; free distribution of breakfast, lunch and children’s books; an awards ceremony; workshops; town hall meetings; and more. Thousands of educators, students and families are expected to attend.