October 31, 2005

Heart Gallery to host reception
Nov. 5 for photo exhibit

The Heart Gallery Project of Sacramento will highlight the opening of its exhibit of professional photographs of children awaiting adoption with a reception for prospective adoptive parents on Nov. 5 from 5-7 p.m. in the Sacramento State Library Gallery. The photo exhibit opens Nov. 1and continues through Nov. 23 in the Library Gallery.

The exhibit will feature more than three dozen photos of Sacramento-area children ages 7 to 15 who are in foster care and are hard to place with adoptive families because of their ages.

"These children need families and sometimes that can be difficult," said Rosemary Papa, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Sacramento State, who helped establish the Heart Gallery project in Sacramento earlier this year. "The children are a little older and in many cases they have siblings, and you don’t want to break up families."

Papa said the public is invited to the Nov. 5 reception to view the photos and talk with social workers who will be on hand to answer questions about adopting the children. Some of the children in the photos will attend.

The event, part of activities during National Adoption Month in November, will feature a talk by author Michelle Madrid-Branch, who has written books for parents on explaining adoption issues to children. The master of ceremonies for the evening will be retired news anchor Stan Atkinson.

Following an article published in Parade earlier this year about a special exhibit of photos of children waiting to be adopted, Heart Gallery projects have been created by volunteers across the country. Papa worked with about a dozen faculty and staff members at Sacramento State and others to start the Heart Gallery project in Sacramento. The local effort also includes volunteers from Sierra Adoption Services, the Sacramento County Child Protective Services, Lilliputian Children's Services and the Court-appointed Special Advocates of Sacramento. Papa said that the exhibit represents a fraction of the children awaiting adoption in Sacramento County. In all, more than 1,700 children are waiting for homes, she said.

For more information, call Papa at 278-5945.

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