HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from Forrest General Hospital.
Miss Hattiesburg Ivey Swan is no stranger to tough times. This morning she spoke to art students at Presbyterian Christian Elementary School. The recent Ole Miss graduate opened up a dialogue about the city's two fallen police officers and encouraged children to express their feelings in creative ways. Calling on her arts background, Swan was able to use the healing and therapeutic qualities of the arts to help the city's youngest overcome their fears.
In the classroom of Melany Kennedy Hodges, Swan explained, "Children who have experienced disasters, even just through graphic media coverage, may not be able to talk about it or express the feelings disaster triggers in them. The arts can help ease the pain of trauma." The teacher agrees. "The students are the hands of Jesus, making the cards for the families, and Ivey is the feet of Jesus who will be delivering them."
"Communicating and coping is the key," acknowledges Miss Hattiesburg. "I wear my blue proudly this week because I see The Pine Belt Spirit is at work – and despite unimaginable losses, progress is being made. Block by block. Neighbor by neighbor."
Ivey is the daughter of Randy and Millie Swan of Hattiesburg and is the 2015 Scholarship winner of The Leaf Foundation. She will represent Hattiesburg in The Miss Mississippi Pageant this June in Vicksburg. More on Swan's mission, The ART$ - A Road to Success, can be found online at artieforthearts.com. For more on scholarship winners of The Leaf Foundation, go to leafrivervalley.com or Facebook.com/leafrivervalley.