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A Teachable Moment for Parents and Children Arrives in Southampton

Fall was in the air early in September when the people of Southampton Village opened their hearts and their town to Children’s Rights and our Bricks for Kids sculpture. We couldn’t have felt more at home.

The sculpture, crafted out of 35,000 toy bricks, celebrates the innocence and joy of childhood – and encourages conversations about the joy that has been missing in the lives of too many children since the pandemic began. COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the mental health of children, who have experienced growing rates of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety due to disruptions in their lives. This is particularly true for children in child welfare systems that have too often been harmful to children’s well-being and development.

People who visit Bricks for Kids are encouraged to share photos of it on social media using #BricksForKids, learn more about child mental health, and take a brief online quiz. Bricks for Kids will be in Southampton through October and is expected to tour the country for the next several years. It was initially unveiled at Hudson Yards in lower Manhattan, where it spent the summer months.

At a ceremony held on September 3, Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren saluted Children’s Rights and welcomed Bricks for Kids to his community.

“This incredible installation will raise awareness and funds for children’s mental health and helps us further our administration’s goal of making our community an artistic and creative hub. We welcome Bricks for Kids and encourage residents to read more about this fantastic organization. We are delighted the sculpture is calling our Village home for the next several months.”

Children’s Rights Executive Director Sandy Santana said he couldn’t think of a more perfect spot for our sculpture than in a family park nestled in a community that has made public art and a commitment to caring for each other central to who they are. After the ceremony he heard parents talking to their children about how they feel, what their concerns are as they start an uncertain new school year.

“It felt good to know that Children’s Rights is doing our part to encourage these conversations – and that people are joining us in helping to ensure that all children have the childhood they deserve.

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