Students work hand in hand with disabled on art piece.
At Valley View Elementary School, a mural is under construction. In between gallons of paint and large pieces of traced vinyl stand 6th grade students, delicately guiding the hands of disabled students. They help keep a steady line going as the kids paint segments of what will be an 8 x 30 foot mural depicting disabled children participating in extreme sports.
It’s the brain child of Marc Kolodziejczyk of the Special Children's Art Foundation. He’s working with his associate Nicole Armitage, and says that the mural serves many purposes, one of which being the integration of special needs students with the rest of the school population.
It also underlines the capability of the disabled. In fact, the word disabled is becoming less and less applicable.
It has become common place nowadays for special needs children to ride horses and be active. The astounding success of the Special Olympics affirms that.
Today, there is a vivid realization that activity really sparks the senses of these children, and awakens them to a level not seen in the past.
With that, the bar begins to get set higher and higher.
Kolodziejczyk, (pronounced Kolo-Ja-Sick), has pioneered extreme activities with his own daughter, who is also special needs. He has taken her surfing, skiing, and plans to make her the first special needs child to para-glide.
The programs and the feats that these wonderful children take part in, also serve those around them. The student helpers that assist with the painting get to chat with the special needs kids, and end up forming bonds with them. The compassion and understanding that comes from that experience transcends just that relationship however, and usually carries over to the way they live their lives.
At Valley View, the students are especially accustomed to that, having been involved with ongoing programs at their school that consistently bring the students together. The programs at Valley View are a story in themselves and KHTS will highlight this next week.
Valley View is part of the Sulphur Springs School District.