The post-COVID road back can be rough, but it can also be rewarding. Kathleen Norris, Educational Director/Owner of Abrakadoodle Greensboro made a personal decision to use her COVID-19 “Retooling” Grant resources toward providing art classes for young children in need at no cost to the schools. Abrakadoodle Greensboro provided two sessions of art classes benefiting more than 100 children in the community. On April 14, 18 children at De Paul Academy in High Point safely took part in onsite art (photo, right). On April 15, Abrakadoodle led seven art classes for 83 children at Poplar Grove Child Development Center in Greensboro (Photo, below).
According to Ms. Norris, “Abrakadoodle-Greensboro had a wonderful time getting to know the Pre-K students and staff at DePaul Academy and Poplar Grove. Our little artists learned about the bright and beautiful colors we find in our gardens in the springtime, and then they used watercolors to paint a garden among white birch trees. The children loved the lesson and were totally engrossed with creating colorful and original pictures. Each child took home their watercolors to continue making more original art after school.” She added, “I had the privilege of teaching some of these classes along with Abrakadoodle teacher Hannah. I just love bringing Abrakadoodle art to such enthusiastic and joyful children.”
Heather Densen, Center Director of Poplar Grove Guilford Child Development, said, “I thought the classes were very impressive and were well-structured. The kids remained very engaged throughout the one-hour class, and the teacher and kids really enjoyed the experience.”
“Kathleen joined Abrakadoodle in 2019, and she has shown tremendous commitment in developing relationships with her partner schools and community sites and maintaining them through this challenging time,” remarked Rosemarie Hartnett, CFE, President & Co-Founder of Abrakadoodle. She commented, “Kathleen has demonstrated how impactful our franchise can be by giving back in her community.”
Ms. Norris announced that Abrakadoodle Greensboro will continue giving back in the community, and she has scheduled grant-funded art classes this May for children attending the Elm Street and Macedonia Pre-K programs.
Kathleen Norris launched her Abrakadoodle Greensboro business in early 2019. She holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Arizona State University. Ms. Norris was a lead software engineer for Honeywell Aerospace and BAE where she created control software for commercial airlines and helicopters. “Participating in the arts has always been a great joy to me,” Kathleen said. “The creativity and innovation of producing original art in my childhood helped build a foundation for success in science and engineering, and I hope to share the arts and work to open doors to creative learning for children in my community,” she remarked.