Service Sparks: Uplifting Art in the Community

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Act of Kindness
Art from the Heart
Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! Have fun making creative art from natural or recycled items. Give the art to someone to brighten their day.


Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! 


Art can communicate a message of kindness or express an idea. When we take time to make something beautiful and share it with someone who doesn't expect it, the message can bring joy and connection. Use your talent and the materials at hand to make something that is beautiful and communicates a message of hope or advocacy.


  1. Talk about the art in your community. Public art is a way for all people to enjoy art and communicate a message of shared purpose.  
  2. Go to the website of your local public art museum or a national art museum. Look at the collections and messages of the curators. Some art museums have virtual tours. The Smithsonian American Art Museum is an option. What kind of art do you like best?
  3. Plan to make an art project. Art can communicate a message. What message would you like to communicate, and what materials and images will do that?
  4. Here is an idea using nature. Collect leaves from outside and iron them flat between wax paper. Cut them out and put leaves together to make animal shapes.
  5. Here is an idea using paper tubes (from toilet paper and paper towel rolls). Cut the flattened tubes into equal widths and make flowers. Paint and decorate them.
    BONUS: Create a digital art show or art book. Present a step-by-step demo on how to make an art project. This activity builds presentation and language skills!
  6. Give your finished art to someone who would benefit from a friendly surprise. Include a note with your art gift. 
  7. Learn more with a Learning to Give lesson Connecting People Through Art 
    BONUS: Read the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. 

Reflection: When someone gives you a card or gift of something homemade, how do you feel? What is the underlying message when you give someone a gift you made?

Explore more Service Sparks projects:


Learning to Give ... 

  • educates youth about philanthropy, the civil society sector, and the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure for the common good (knowledge),
  • equips youth by encouraging philanthropic behavior and experience (skills), and,
  • empowers youth to take voluntary citizen action for the common good in their classrooms, lives and communities (behavior).

(Image source Growing a Jeweled Rose blog)