So mom and I were eating at the wonderful Whole Foods the other day; when we were at the checkout line I noticed a group of people wearing Orange shirts around the store. I told my mom that I really wanted to ask about their T-shirts. So she nonchalantly asks. Apparently these Orange shirted people are from Auburn University and have begun a program educating prisoners in Alabama on fine arts and humanities, their name, Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project.
I was assuming that it was an Art Therapy program but – no, their mission is education. They have found through studies that if someone is educated in prison, they are less likely to become incarcerated for a second time. From their website they state, “The arts and humanities give our students, who have often had terrible experiences with education previously, a way to enter into learning through discovering more about the world and their self.”
I really want to do something to get involved and I would LOVE to teach a class. As an artist, I find art incredibly rewarding and rehabilitating. Art can give someone self confidence and strength through self discovery. Let’s do something.
Here is one thing we can do, “APAEP started Books Behind Bars to provide quality literature and educational materials to not only the project’s students, but the entire prison population.”
Here are some acceptable books that can be donated:
*Any contemporary fiction
*Both paperback and hard-bound books are acceptable
*Basic course textbooks (Basic Math, Economics, and Social Science)
To all my friends in school, I know we can find some of the above in our extended collection that we have from undergrad alone. Hell, I can see my brothers Human Physiology book right now! (although that book may not be needed, I know we have old books that we would be happy to part with 🙂 ) Let me know if you are interested in donating some books and we can ship ’em off.
Check out their website here.
Pictures are provided by APAEP