Don't like to read?
Local artists created a coloring book about North Lawndale to encourage childrens’ reativity while learning about their neighborhood. The book called “Elvin Explores North Lawndale” tells a visual story of the community. It debuted on Aug. 28, 2021, during the North Lawndale Reads Back to School Lit Fest, according to Austin Weekly News.
Alexie Young, the creative director of the nonprofit Art West, worked with two local artists, Jay Simon and Kent Jones, to create a children’s coloring book. The North Lawndale resident hopes the book featuring Elvin, a young anthropomorphic elephant visiting landmarks in the community, encourages families to explore North Lawndale to challenge the tale the community does not have any cultural attractions.
She printed a hundred copies of the coloring book to give away at the festival organized by Ward 24 Alderman Michael Scott, Jr., and North Lawndale Reads. It was held in front of Stone Temple Baptist Church.
Young plans to distribute the coloring books through local schools. In addition, she told reporters that she is willing to work with local nonprofit agencies and organizations to distribute more books and raise the money needed to print more copies.
Furthermore, she hopes to design more kids’ books with different North Lawndale landmarks and on other West Side neighborhoods.
“Elvin Explores North Lawndale” not only gives children the opportunity to learn about their neighborhood but also provides them with a relaxing way to pass the time. Kids reap at least 10 benefits from spending time coloring. The first five include improving motor skills, preparing them for school, stimulating creativity, contributing to better handwriting, and teaching color awareness, recognition, and discernment.
Coloring also improves hand-eye coordination and helps them learn about boundaries, structure, and spatial awareness. The final three deal with the mental health aspect of using coloring books. They improve confidence and self-esteem, build self-expression, while also helping to therapeutically relieve stress.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
Austin Weekly News: Black artists create coloring book about North Lawndale landmarks; by Igor Studenkov
Block Club Chicago: ‘Elvin Explores North Lawndale’ Coloring Book Gives Kids A Chance To Get Creative While Exploring Their Neighborhood; by Pascal Sabino
Kid Companion: Benefits of Coloring for Kids, Teens, and Adults; by Lorna dEntremont
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of SIM USA’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License