Students share love of art

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 22, 1999

STACEY PLAISANCE / L’Observateur / February 22, 1999

GARYVILLE – Special education students recently demonstrated their creative talents with the assistance of gifted art students at Garyville Magnet School’s Very Special Arts Festival.

The arts festival is a parishwide event with each school coordinating various projects for gifted and special education students.

Garyville Magnet students made art projects such as Mardi Gras masks, silhouette traces, beaded necklaces, buttons and scratch art pictures.

With Mardi Gras carnival music playing in the background as the students created very personalized crafts, gifted teacher Russel Counterman said the arts festival has taken on a Mardi Gras theme, as the festival has traditionally been held close to the carnival season.

Talented Arts teacher Janet Wright said many students will use their art projects for various purposes, including holiday festivities. Somestudents made Valentine’s Day buttons to take home to their mothers, and other students made Mardi Gras necklaces, masks and buttons for the school parade Friday afternoon.

“The festival is a hands-on art experience for the students, and it gives my students the opportunity to work as instructors with what they’re good at,” Wright said.

Connie Reddan, a resource teacher for special education students, said the festival helps make her students feel included and successful that they are able to create art.

The students also demonstrate their social skills as they work in groups, she said.

Speech therapist Leslye Young said the arts festival enriches the language arts skills of her students and allows them to make choices, follow instructions and work cooperatively.

Counterman said the festival has been excellent for promoting interaction among all special education students, and it helps build the students’ self-esteem and confidence levels.

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