Arts Horizons Trains Teachers to Work with Special Needs Students

“Your workshop was education building bridges and was liberating to my soul.” 

November 11, 2011 – These are the words of one of the 80 teacher assistants from CPNJ who participated in a professional development program with Arts Horizons (AH) to integrate the arts into the education curriculum at  the Horizon Lower School and High School in Livingston NJ. Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey  (CPNJ) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities and other special needs by supporting personal growth, independence and participation in the community.

Arts Horizons Teaching Artists, Vince Ector and Arthur Wilson led this day of learning through the arts.  Both are Master Teaching Artists and Mentors in the Arts Horizons Special Education Artist Academy.

Mr. Ector facilitated a day of adapted music trainings for staff to learn specialized percussion for their students.  Vince Ector –  drummer, composer, bandleader and educator – is a professional recording industry musician in high demand and performs at leading jazz festivals both in the US and abroad.  He brought his expertise in a day of active music making for the CPNJ staff to make sure everyone of their students can have an a true opportunity for technical music instruction and participation.

The “Drama and Gesture Workshop,” presented by AH Master Teaching Artist Arthur Wilson filled the second part of the day with lively poetry, movement, theater, and song.  Arthur Wilson is a published poet, playwright, teacher, and Co-Editor/Publisher (Attitude Magazine), and has contributed to theater, education, and community based programs for over forty years.

Many of CPNJ’s students are non-verbal, use wheelchairs, and have multiple disabilities but all of them have an individual voice.  This day was dedicated to making sure that all children may express their voice and talent through the art of theater and music.  “What can I take with me?  I can listen more to the children and realize how much they matter.   I learned that I can try to be more “alive.”  I learned that all children have a voice and want to be heard….it’s our job to help them communicate and connect.”

For more information contact Dena Malarek, Director of Special Populations with Arts Horizons, dena@artshorizons.org or Lindsay Grasso, Training Specialist, Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey lgrasso@cpnj.org

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About Arts Horizons

Arts Horizons is a premier not-for-profit arts-in-education organization that provides live professional performances and artist-in-residence programs to students and professional development for teachers throughout the entire tri-state region. Our commitment is to make music, art, dance, theatre, new media and creative writing an integral part not only of learning, but of life. Through the transformative impact of the arts, we reach young people through many dimensions, breaking down the barriers of language and culture, accelerating personal growth, and stimulating children’s full potential to prepare them for life in the twenty-first century.

Posted on November 23, 2011, in Professional Development, SEAA, Teaching Artists and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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