Friday, May 3, 2013

Special Students Making a Difference

        I'm excited to tell you about a project that my students have been working on! Thanks to a  grant funded by The Collierville Education Foundation, students with special learning needs created multimedia paintings, decorative pillows, & aprons that will be sold Saturday and Sunday in Collierville at the “Fair on the Square.” The money raised will be used to purchase supplies to continue the project in future school years, and a portion of the profits will be donated to Collierville Education Foundation.
     The students that participated in this project have motor skill challenges, and many are unable to communicate due to delays with speech and language skills. The students benefit physically, socially, academically, creatively, and emotionally by expressing themselves through therapeutic art projects. 
     By creating these arts & crafts, a variety of functional “work-based” skills were addressed, such as problem solving, grasping, cutting, writing, & following directions. The students also gained skills that can be used for future employment, such as sewing (with supervision and a needle guard for safety), writing, counting money, interacting with peers, using functional language, and crafting skills. 
      The regular education peer tutors learned valuable life skills, such as patience, empathy, supportiveness, and understanding. The icing on the cake is that by making donations to The Collierville Education Foundation, the students will also experience the joy of helping others.
       A special thanks to Sew Memphis for designing the aprons...they are awesome! I also want to thank Memphis artist NJ Woods for granting us permission to use some of her paintings as models for our artwork. This made the students very happy :)            Please show your support to Sew Memphis by visiting their shop, and be sure to visit NJ's website and her new gallery at 2563 Broad Avenue in Memphis!
              Scroll down to see samples of the students' wonderful work:

  The painting above was inspired by NJ Woods artwork
  The painting above was inspired by NJ Woods artwork
The painting above was inspired by NJ Woods artwork

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