Art Camp Helps CASA Kids Cope - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Art Camp Helps CASA Kids Cope

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ALEXANDRIA, La. -- A very special group of kids are getting crafty this week at a local art camp.

Children from the group called CASA, which helps abused children through the court system, are getting free art lessons in downtown Alexandria.

News Channel Five's Brooke Buford stopped by to meet some of the children and to learn why the arts can serve as a form of therapy for the kids. 

9-year-old Alesia and 7-year-old Alazeja are joining their sister and brother for a week long art camp at Me Oh My Arts in downtown Alexandria.

"I made a heart and I made it out of foam out of a plate," said Alesia.

"I made a heart and a rainbow," said Alazeja.

But, this isn't your typical art camp. These kids are all from the group called CASA.

"CASA stands for court appointed special advocates," said Lorita Powell, CASA Volunteer Coordinator. "We advocate for kids who have been abused and neglected."

Alesia and Alazeja's family went through the CASA system and have since been adopted into a loving family. But for many others, healing is still a work in progress and the program helps speed it along.

"Just to put them together and let them know that they are not the only ones that has been abused out in the system," said Powell. "They really have loosened up. They're just moving around and becoming friends, making new friends."

For these kids, art has become a form of therapy.

"Art is silent. A lot of people believe that expression has to be verbal," said Nancy Noles, owner of Me Oh My. "Whereas for some children and adults, expressing themselves verbally might not be as comfortable as it is to look at something visually. When they can put work down on paper, that is them expressing themselves in a way that makes them feel safe."

And as Alesia and Alazeja still work on the healing process with their new family, this week they're just focused on being happy and crafty kids. 

The week long art program is free to the children and made possible by CASA's board of directors.

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