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Dickinson County children prepare “visual letters” to send children to China

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) – Children in Dickinson County prepare “visual letters” to send to children in China.

Although language can create barriers, artwork is a universal language, and Michigan State University’s 4-H Extension program wants to use this unifying language to educate future world leaders, empowering them. introducing to new cultures.

“A program like China Arts: Visual Letters gives children the opportunity to engage with other children from other countries in preparation for their adult lives,” said Elizabeth Alderman, MSU Extension 4-H Americorps coordinator.

The program, which began in 1988, is designed for any Michigan kindergarten through 6th grader. Alderman says the number of registered participants has dropped by at least a thousand over the past two years.

“It’s because of the pandemic. We are still on the ground to launch our program,” Alderman said.

Alderman will meet with the children weekly to brainstorm ideas and start drawing. Each work of art tells a story.

“We’ve had wonderful entries in the past like snowmobiles, think about what happens in our daily lives. It would be very interesting for a child in China,” Alderman said.

Some artwork sent from China includes children making candy and picking fruit from a tree. Alderman estimates there will be two thousand entries from across the state by April. A part will be selected to ship to China.

Currently only Dickinson and Marquette County have groups participating in UP

“Our kids here in Dickinson County will have some really great artwork to enter the contest,” Alderman said. “I am very confident that these works will be selected to go to China.”

Registration is free and Alderman recommends that you register online by creating a free account and selecting CLUB SPIN: Exchange of “visual letters” on Chinese art.

Alderman’s group meets at the Dickinson County Library on Tuesdays from 3:30-5:00 p.m. CT and Saturdays from 9:30-11:00 a.m. CT. Any questions about the program can be directed to Alderman at [email protected]

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