Valentine’s Day is on Thursday, Feb. 14 and it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the commercialized occasion. Why not seize the heartfelt holiday as an opportunity to teach children about the importance of compassion?
Research shows that compassion plays a key role in helping children to develop into engaged, caring and optimistic adults. Regarded as one of the greatest human virtues, compassion enables us to connect to human suffering with care and understanding by acting in ways that bring comfort to those around us. Most importantly, compassion helps us to remain giving, even if others behave negatively. Possessing a compassionate spirit proved important when Sandy hit our shores and children throughout the community helped family, friends and neighbors to begin the recovery process with donations and volunteering.
Teaching lessons of compassion however shouldn't be reserved for times of urgent need. Through the creation of art, children can experience and explore the emotions associated with compassionate acts, enjoying and sharing its positive results. At the Middletown Arts Center, located on 36 Church Street in Middletown, students bring smiles to the faces of friends, family and community with the simple gift of creativity and thoughtful intentions with their finished artworks.
Throughout the month of February, the MAC will celebrate the Valentine season with themed events and classes. The small act of creating a handmade card, painting, writing a poem, or singing a song for a parent, teacher or elderly neighbor can serve as a big life lesson for children. From crafting to building legos, there are many opportunities for kids from across the community to create a gift from the heart for someone in need of love and compassion.
Call the Middletown Arts Center at (732) 706-4100 to preregister for any of the events and classes featured below. For a full menu of classes, visit www.middletownarts.org. The MAC can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
heART Fun ~ Saturday, February 9th, 9:30-10:30 a.m. (for children ages 3-5) Saturday, February 9th, 11:00-12:30 p.m. (for children ages 6-10)
A “Let’s Get Messy” Saturday Art Fun class has your little artist exploring different art materials and techniques with Miss Laurie Ruggeri. Children will enjoy making Valentine’s Day cards, heartfelt crafty paintings and more. To attend the February 9th class only, the cost is $10 per child. Cost to attend eight sessions is $100 for MAC members and $110 for non-members.
Build Your Valentine with LEGO® (for children ages 6-9) ~ Thursday, February 14th, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Create your very own Valentine with LEGO® building blocks in the MAC’s Bricks 4 Kidz® class with Miss Melina Stock. Each student will choose to build and take home their very own red heart, musical note or picture frame. Cost is $5 per child.
“Miss Sherri Live TV” Lovey Palooza Anniversary Concert (for all ages) ~ Friday, February 15th, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Families will enjoy a rockin’ “Miss Sherri Live TV” Lovey Palooza Anniversary episode filmed in the Middletown Arts Center theatre. This episode will be aired on Comcast 21 and Fios 26. Tickets are $5 per person and children under one-year are free.
Kiddie Fun Valentine’s Party (for children 4 -8) ~ Friday, February 15th, 6:00-10:00 p.m.
There is no sweeter way for a child to celebrate Valentine’s Day then surrounded by friends while making crafts, playing games, watching movies and eating yummy snacks. While parents are spending time together during a romantic night out, the little ones can celebrate too at the MAC’s Valentine Party Night with Miss Maria. Pizza, drinks and snacks provided. The cost is $25 per child. Pre-registration required.