Smithtown AP Art Students team up with the Youth Bureau & Anti Bias Task Force in Celebration of Gay Pride Month
The Town of Smithtown Youth Bureau and Anti Bias Task Force have joined forces with talented art students from Smithtown Central School District to celebrate Gay Pride Month in the community. Students from AP Art Teacher Steven Halem’s class at Smithtown H.S. West painted a sign for the Kindness Rock Garden at Town Hall. Materials, stencils and additional supplies to paint a new sign were graciously put together, courtesy of AR Workshop; a boutique DIY studio located on Main Street in Smithtown.
“I’d like to first thank AR Workshop for arranging the sign supplies and especially thank the talented AP art students at Smithtown CSD for creating such a beautiful new sign for our Town Kindness rock garden. This is such an exceptional town, much in part because of the people who call Smithtown home. It gives me great pride and much hope to see our young people carrying the torch forward. Love does grow here… and I hope that this display encourages even more unity throughout the community.” - Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo
The Youth Bureau coordinated the delivery of the wood, stencils and paint to AP Art Teacher Steven Halem’s class in May. Students then exercised their own creativity to paint the sign together. The finished artwork was first showcased on display at the Anti Bias Task Force Table at Smithtown Festival Day, before being installed the following week.
“This is a loving community that embraces and cares for our neighbors. You need not look further than this past year and a half… the way we all went above and beyond, whether we donated food to the pantry or supplies to first responders. Seeing our youth engaged in this gesture of solidarity, gives me great confidence that they will carry out this harmony well into the future.” - Councilwoman Lynne Nowick
The Kindness Rock Garden originated during the peak of the Covid-19 Pandemic, when the State mandated the closure of in person learning. The Youth Bureau began to work with the school districts in providing community service opportunities so that children could help make a difference during difficult times. Local art groups like Kings Park Kindness Rocks quickly jumped at the opportunity and in a short amount of time, adults and kids alike were “planting” kindness rocks in front of Town Hall. The Town has opted to dedicate the kindness rock garden every month, with the first month (of June) in honor of Gay Pride. The Town’s official message for the month is “Love Grows Here.”