When Amy Bennett pushes her mobile art cart into one particular classroom, Luke enthusiastically uses his communication device to tell his teacher, “I love art!”
Often, the students erupt in cheering and applause because they are so excited to let their inner creativity come to life.
Like all of us, Elim’s students have diverse gifts, passions, and challenges. Through Elim’s new multi- sensory art program, Bennett does her best to meet each student’s individual needs and encourage their talents to shine bright!
“Art class at Elim is a full sensory experience for the students, and the artwork is created by them. I’ve had many teachers tell me that even students who never cared about art love our approach.”
Each project is individually planned and executed to meet a student’s particular needs. For example, the students enjoyed working on a pumpkin project last fall. Each student received their own scooped-out mini-pumpkin. They were asked to use the top stem of the pumpkin as a stamper. They used this stamp to create a lively, colorful pumpkin print. At the end, students were given a bag containing the scooped-out pumpkin filling which they could hold and squeeze. The seeds were placed in a container that each student could joyfully shake.
Elim’s students, like Luke, find joy in expressing their creativity. Bennett uses the art program to encourage them to push beyond individual challenges in this safe, fun environment. During painting lessons, Bennett adds oats, rice, and noodles to the paint and lets students finger paint, creating a multi-sensory experience. All students are encouraged to try the finger painting but students are allowed to use brushes if they prefer.
“Our goal in art class is to help each student express themselves and push the limits of their creativity and capabilities,” Bennett explains. “Each student comes with different gifts and unique challenges. Some naturally love art, and with some we have to find innovative ways to make art participation an enjoyable learning experience. We always want to keep our kids learning and growing.”