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Barcroft Elementary to Promote Art and Peace Through Chalk

Children at Barcroft's Chalk4Peace (Courtesy of Marel Sitron)Barcroft Elementary School’s sidewalks and blacktops will be covered in chalk drawings on Saturday as part of annual event promoting art and peace.

Barcroft will hold its annual Chalk4Peace event on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. There will be music and chalk will be provided.

Children will be able to draw on the blacktop and sidewalks around the school. The art will stay there until it is washed away by rain, said Principal Colette Bounet.

“They [kids] get to hang out with their friends,” Bounet said. “They get to draw on the ground, which they usually don’t get to do.”

Chalk4Peace is a global initatiative started by artist John Aaron 10 years ago to help connect communities and promote peace and art.

“The peace aspect [for the Barcroft event] is more just getting out with your community,” Bounet said.

About 50 to 60 kids show up each year to the event, Bounet said, adding that at any one time there are usually 25 to 30 kids drawing.

Chalk4Peace first came first came to Barcroft nine years ago, said art teacher Marel Sitron, who helped launch the event. The original Chalk4Peace event was founded in Arlington in 2003.

“I just think it’s a wonderful event because art is an universal language,” Sitron said.

Both Bounet and Sitron draw during the event, they said. In previous years, Sitron chalked the Mona Lisa in chalk as well as other large pictures, she said.

Children who participate in Chalk4Peace also bring a box of cereal to donate. Last year, the school filled five to six large tubs of cereal boxes, Bounet said.

“We’ve just found it’s very appealing for kids to give to other kids,” she said.

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