Art kits from artsy kids

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LIBERTY CENTER, Ohio (WCMH)–Seniors at Olentangy Orange High School
have a lot on their minds. Getting good grades, graduating, what are they going to do when they graduate. Some would say it leads to what
is commonly called “senioritis.” Basically, their done with school and ready to move on with what is next.

One of the things seniors take part in is a community project. Esha
Sharm grabbed onto her passion for art to make a difference in the lives
of grade school children.

“We work to spread positivity through creativity,” said Sharma.

Through Esha’s Global Scholars Project, for three years she has researched how art can help alleviate stress. When Esha started her project,
she never thought she would say a sentence like this:

“Art is proven regardless of whether or not you’re good at it, it’s proven
to decrease cortisol, which is your stress hormone and increase dopamine
throughout all age groups, throughout all socioeconomic statuses regardless of who you are,” said Sharma. “It is proven to reduce stress.”

Researchers from Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health
Professions published a study in 2016 that hints that creating art reduces
stress hormones like cortisol.

In 2018, the National Center for Biotechnology Information published an article called “Creative Arts Interventions for Stress Management and Prevention – A systematic review. It is an in-depth read with a lot
information.

“Coloring is something that everyone can do and everyone can appreciate .”

Olentangy Orange High School Art Relaxation Club
Olentangy Orange High School students piece together art kits to be given to children to help relieve stress. Photo by: Tony Mirones

On this night, she and volunteers from the school’s Art Relaxation Club formed an assembly line to place crayons, colored pencils, and ripped pages from coloring books in plastic bags. There were times the students danced and sang to music from the 80s and 90s. They had lots of laughter, conversation, and it was organized.

One of the students is senior Marina Siles.

“I think it is so important because it’s something that brings you back to like when times were easier maybe,” said Siles. “It’s something that’s relaxing and just fun to do.”

Sharma is an accomplished artist herself. She started an Instagram account where she highlights some of her personal favorites. Of course, her goal is to sell the items and make money. She includes a number of items and highlights how she created one-piece with a time-lapsed video. She created art while making her art.

“I’ve been doing calligraphy since the eighth grade,” said Sharma. “I took
calligraphy because I wanted my handwriting to be better.”

Sharma fell short of saying that she is good at what she does. However, she knows what she is doing for others is for the better.

“I want to change the world but I want to do it in my style,” she smilingly said. “Creativity has had such an impact on my life and I use it to destress. Coloring is something that everyone can do and everyone can appreciate and I just want to give that to kids who don’t have access to things like that now.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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