Baraboo students’ artwork on display Print
Written by Cathy Lins, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, May. 29, 2014 -- 12:00 AM


St. Joseph Student Art for CATH Project
St. Joseph School in Baraboo student Mackenzie Szweda is pictured with her artwork being displayed at the Children Are The Hope (CATH) exhibit. (Contributed photo)

MADISON -- Students from throughout the southern half of Wisconsin, including St. Joseph Catholic School in Baraboo, worked on nature-based art "messages" that will be sent to Cuba through the Children Are The Hope (CATH) program.

Students from 14 Wisconsin and Cuban schools took part in the environmental and cultural education program and international art exchange during the 2013 to 2014 school year.

Gallery hosts exhibit

From May 26 to 31, the Common Wealth Gallery in Madison will host a collection of nature-based artwork created by the fourth and fifth grade students and similar-aged students from northcentral Cuba.

The artwork represents the capstone experience of students from across the southern half of Wisconsin participating in an academic year-long program through Children Are The Hope, Inc. (CATH), a non-profit organization based in Reedsburg.

Reaching across barriers

CATH reaches across barriers, such as politics, geography, and language, to nurture children’s knowledge of and sensitivity to nature and their global peers.

CATH integrates academics, environmental education, cultural connections, and creative expression to inspire stewardship of the earth.

Wisconsin's landscapes share many characteristics with the Grand Wetland of northcentral Cuba, where extensive water systems and ecosystems face a number of

Children Are The Hope exhibit
When: The Common Wealth Gallery will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.  A reception will be held on Saturday, May 31, from 1 to 4 p.m., with refreshments being served.
Where: The Common Wealth Gallery is located at 100 S. Baldwin St., Madison, on the third floor of the historic Madison Enterprise Center building.

conservation challenges.

According to Korie Klink, executive director and founder of CATH, potential solutions depend upon the involvement and knowledge of local citizens, including young people.

Klink works in partnership with Wisconsin and Cuban teachers and environmental educators to help students in grades four to six gain a sense of place and community through their academic studies, experiences with nature, and artistic creativity.

Sharing stories through art

Klink said, "The students in both countries take part in environmental education programming throughout the academic year, learning about each other's culture and the natural resources that we all share, such as the Sandhill Crane and wetland systems.

"Students in both countries also create visual art 'messages' illustrating their connections to cranes and nature and their knowledge and commitment to care for both."

She said, "By exchanging artwork between the countries, students see firsthand how their individual and collective decisions and actions impact the global community.

"Wisconsin's Greater Sandhill Cranes are thriving; the Cuban Sandhill Cranes are endangered. We have important stories to share through our art messages. By caring for our cranes, we care for our world. By caring for our world, we care for each other. By caring for each other, we find hope."

One Wisconsin fifth grade student said, "It made us change . . . to care; like making sure you don't litter. Use your stuff before you throw it away. It makes you want to use your resources [well] and care for the animals and everything that lives there . . . "

To learn more

To learn more about the exhibit and CATH, visit or contact Korie Klink at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

You can also find information at the CATH Facebook page at


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