North Park Elementary

Racine Girl Painting Smiles on the Faces of Seniors

Ava P
Ava P

Art is what 10-year-old Ava Pinnow loves, and now, she’s being recognized for using her works of art to help others feel loved. For the past year, the fifth-grader at West Ridge Elementary in Racine has been making cards, paintings, wreaths, ornaments, masks and more for seniors living in nursing and retirement homes. 

Ava got the idea last year from a family friend who suggested sharing her art with seniors who may be feeling isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic. Once her mother got her the supplies, Ava never looked back. She swings in once every few weeks with a delivery and estimates she has now given art to at least 50 seniors.

“I liked seeing all the people smile and be happy because people can’t visit them,” Ava said. “It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also really helpful.”

For the work that she’s done as a youth volunteer, Ava has been honored with the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. The program honors youth for outstanding service to others. Ava is one of only two honorees in Wisconsin and 102 across the country. 

Ava will now go on to compete in the national competition April 30th, where she could win a $5,000 scholarship and a $5,000 grant for the charity of her choice. Ava’s mother says she’s already landed on Kindred Kitties in Kenosha because she loves cats! The national honor would also come with a trophy to display at West Ridge Elementary. Ava’s state honor came with a $2500 scholarship, and as Ava described it, “a really cool silver medallion.”