March 9th wasn’t just another school day at Westport Academy. It was the day that teaching artist Sue Stockman began her three-day residency with the Let’s Grow, Early Learning Environment- Autism (ELE-A), and Program for Autistic Learners (PAL) elementary and middle school classes to create a beautiful and colorful tile mosaic.

We had an awesome experience in doing the mosaic! The kids enjoyed it a lot, from breaking the glasses/ceramics to putting it all down. They got very excited and proud when they saw the finished mosaic on the wall at the main office! Thank you for that wonderful experience!” -Mrs. Marinellie Lacastesantos-Voda

From start to finish, students and teachers were integrally involved in the entire process as Ms. Stockman led them through the sequence of project design, cutting tile, gluing tile, editing work, and grouting. Students were excited and totally engaged in the project while working on fine motor skills, collaboration, and social skills at the same time. The residency ended on March 11th and the final product, a magical glass and tile tree mosaic, was installed on a wall in the main office where all can see the young artists’ amazing work!

The students were so engaged and interested in the process and were so excited to see the finished product hanging in the office. Sue was amazing working with our students and with every “not planned event” that happened with our early learning autism students. She took everything in stride and moved on with the next step.

-Mrs. Lena Woods, Special Education Teacher

Westport Academy is one of six Arts Abilities Schools within the Arts Every Day Network in the 2015-16 School Year. Arts Abilities Schools receive additional funding to ensure students with special needs have the opportunity to work with artists and organizations with talents and expertise to meet all their abilities. Programs extend and challenge students to apply classroom learning through the arts. The Arts Abilities Initiative is made possible by the support of individual donors and the Thomas W. Bradley Foundation.

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