Art provides a palette of skills for WoodsEdge students
Richard Clark (center), a student at WoodsEdge, enjoys a painting project with help from Education for the Arts artist-in-residence Mary Whalen (left) and WoodsEdge teacher Jen Bashore. EFA instructors come to WoodsEdge to observe Heather Bigelow’s art classes, and to learn strategies and techniques for teaching art to students with special needs in local school buildings.
The art room at WoodsEdge Learning Center
looks much like the art room in any other Kalamazoo County school. Bright paintings cover the walls. Paper Mache projects line the shelves. Labeled cupboards neatly store paintbrushes, paper and paint. But what happens inside the WoodsEdge art room looks, and feels, like much more.
WoodsEdge Learning Center, a part of the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, is a center-based, year-round special education school for students ages 3-26 who are moderately and severely cognitively impaired, and for those with autism spectrum disorder. Students’ unique educational needs vary greatly – some are medically fragile or in a wheelchair; others are sensitive to light and sound, while some are unable to communicate verbally. Read more