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Community Canvas 2017-18

For the fifth consecutive year, Community Canvas is giving young artists at area elementary schools a chance to display their passion for healthy living and their talent for art.

A partnership between Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital and Lehigh Valley Art Spark – and in conjunction with the Kellyn Foundation – Community Canvas gives students at eight schools the opportunity to create artwork based on healthy eating habits and all-around wellness.

Upcoming Events

In Our Schools

Kellyn FoundationTo begin, Kellyn Foundation conducts a classroom program series in the schools. In these classroom sessions, we discuss the connection between good health and good nutrition through programs created especially for third, fourth and fifth graders. Students learn differences between fresh, healthy, whole food and drink compared to processed unhealthy products. Students also learn how to read food labels and find the amount of sugar and fat in products. In addition, students learn how to make the healthiest choices when they are out at restaurants or away from home with friends.

Following these presentations, children are asked to take home a packet of materials for their parents that explains Community Canvas. Parents also are asked for consent for their child to be considered as an artist contestant at an upcoming art event.

Once the classroom education has taken place, Lehigh Valley Art Spark conducts an assembly at the school where the students dance, play games and refresh the lessons learned. During the assembly, 10 contestants are randomly selected for their school’s Community Canvas art event.

Eight Community Canvas preliminary art events will take place from October 2017 through April 2018, with the grand finale in May. Children of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) employees are not eligible to compete as artists.

Families and friends are encouraged to capture the excitement with photos at each Community Canvas preliminary event and to promote our local schoolchildren's talent by uploading them to social media using our official hashtag #CommunityCanvas.

Garden as a Classroom

Third and fourth grade students at several participating schools get even closer to their food by planting, growing and harvesting produce from their own school garden, creating a year-round healthy food experience.

Participating Schools

Allentown School District

  • Jefferson Elementary

Easton Area School District

  • Cheston Elementary
  • Forks Elementary
  • Paxinosa Elementary
  • Shawnee Elementary
  • Tracy Elementary

Whitehall-Coplay School District

  • Steckel Elementary
  • Zephyr Elementary

In Our Neighborhoods

Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, Kellyn Foundation and Buy Fresh Buy Local are partnering with neighborhood corner stores to make it easier for families to make healthy choices by offering affordable fresh, local produce.

What happens at Community Canvas?

Preliminary events

At Community Canvas preliminary events, our artists are given a lunchbox full of art supplies and 45 minutes to create a piece of artwork based on what they’ve learned in the classroom and school assemblies. The artwork is then voted on by the audience to select two winners, who quality for the Grand Finale. The most important artistic talent needed is creativity and a passion for healthy living. Everyone who participates in a Community Canvas preliminary event gets a prize.

While the artists create their masterpieces, top chefs from local restaurants will be offering free and delicious healthy meal samples for everyone in attendance.

After the eight preliminary events are completed, the work of all artists who did not advance to the Grand Finale will be entered into a Facebook poll so the public can select additional contestants to advance to the finale event.

Grand Finale

Similar to the preliminary events, each artist at our Grand Finale will receive a mystery lunchbox of art materials and have 45 minutes to create their artwork based on a healthy theme. Audience members each get one vote to select an overall winner, who earns the opportunity to be featured in local media and on the LVHN website and in publications. In addition, the winner takes home a basket filled with brand new art supplies and gift certificates. Second and third place artists will also receive prizes.

Participating chefs compete in a “cook-off” by creating healthy dishes using three ingredients supplied by the Kellyn Foundation’s Eat Real Food Mobile Market. The winning chef will be voted on by the audience, including the child artists, and will be awarded the Children’s Hospital’s “golden spoon” trophy.

The Community Canvas program costs you nothing but your time and support for what we hope you’ll find to be a tasty and inspiring experience for your entire family. Artwork from all Community Canvas events can be seen at Children’s Hospital art galleries throughout LVHN facilities.

A look back at Community Canvas 2016-17

Trent Ader, a third-grader from Tracy Elementary School in Easton, was crowned the overall champion in the fourth annual Community Canvas Grand Finale held at Lehigh Valley Mall. Ader’s grand prize included more than $250 worth of art supplies, including paints, brushes, canvases, sketchbooks, markers, colored pencils, charcoal, pastels and water colors. The Grand Finale champion was selected by audience vote.

The 9-year-old Ader bested 11 other third-, fourth- and fifth-grade artists to take home the top prize in the competition which gave youngsters from six area elementary schools the chance to display their passion for healthy living and their talent for art.

Community Canvas Grand Finale 2016-17 participants

Madeline Iannelli, 10, a fourth-grader from Tracy Elementary, was the runner up. Felicity Coulthard, 8, a third-grader from Steckel Elementary School, placed third. Other participants in the grand finale included: Lukas Biddle, 8, a third-grader, and Lillian McFarlon, 9, a fourth-grader from Forks Township Elementary School; Trinidey Schmoyer, 9, and Julian Maldonado, 9, fourth-graders from Zephyr Elementary School; Jazlyn Hall, 9, a fourth-grader, Madeleine Erdie, 9, a fourth-grader, and Sarah McIntyre, 8, a third-grader, from Cheston Elementary School; Brooklyn Barrow, 10, a fifth-grader from Shawnee Elementary School; and Christian Matlock, 8, a third-grader from Steckel Elementary School. Schools from the Whitehall-Coplay and Easton Area school districts participated in the competition.

While the artists were hard at work creating their masterpieces in the 45 minutes allotted for the competition, chefs from local restaurants competed in a “cook-off” creating healthy, tasty snacks. Michelle Reber from Healthy You Café at The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley prevailed in the cooking competition. Shawn Doyle of Savory Grille in Macungie and Sarah Chinsch of Greenmouth Juice Bar & Café in Allentown and Easton also participated. Each chef was tasked with incorporating broccoli, quinoa and honey into their snacks.

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