Through art, kids find ways to interact during pandemic

VASHON ISLAND, Wash. -- There is a sweet innocence to these paintings. The marriage of colors and the shading bringing the drawings to life.

“Art really connects you to your senses,” teacher Caroline Rockey said.

One thing became profoundly clear the moment the Vashon Island art teacher started offering online classes to kids during the pandemic.

“It was obvious to me that kids really need interaction right now,” Rockey said.

Interaction and collaboration with other kids is something they are craving.

“That engagement and sense of community has been really really strong,” Rockey said.

So every day she holds her live sessions sometimes with dozens of children in one class separated by age groups. Kids from Kindergarten to middle school currently participate in the classes.

Rockey will draw along with the kids and in the end the students get to share each other’s unique pieces.

In a gesture to welcome all families, the fee per class is unconventional.

“It’s by donation and what is lovely to see is some families give $5 others give $40 ,” Rockey said.

Rockey has been teaching for 25 years but there is a renewed sense of purpose during these difficult times.

“So much of family’s times are taken for core classes, what usually happens is art and music fall to the wayside,” Rockey said.

She’s hoping to fill that gap especially since art encourages imagination and provides an outlet to express feelings.

“It creates joy and more beauty and I am incredibly, incredibly grateful for that,” Rockey said.

If you would like to learn more about Rockey’s classes, click here.