Over the past few months, visual artist Bess Perry has been working with students at A4L’s program with All Kids Included at Camp Matecumbe.
As we draw near to the end of our session at Camp Matecumbe, I can’t help but think about how the students have grown tremendously and how much I have enjoyed working with this group. Each Saturday when I reflect back on our classes I remember some of the highlights of working with this group of students such as listening to the stories they tell with wide eyes as they narrate their artwork, playing tag during breaks and watching students who before, were shy and hesitant, now run, laugh, and work together, witnessing students play music with each other and work together to create their own “world made of paper.”
While it may not always seem to the outsider that we are conducting educational activities, the children are learning. They are learning how to interact within the group and how to push themselves to create artwork that is out of their comfort zone. The students are learning how support their peers and encourage each other, whether inside of the classroom or during a group yoga or basketball session.
Now, with the culminating event approaching, I can’t wait to see the students proudly show off their artwork and all of their hard work to their families.
Reflecting back over my first semester with Arts for Learning, I have to say that working at Camp Matecumbe has been extremely rewarding. Witnessing the families come together at the culminating event and watching the students perform was an amazing experience. You could watch the faces of staff members, families, and friends and see the many emotions that the performances created. Maybe the day can be best described in the words of the students “fantastic, expressive, cool, inspiring, creative, and fun.” I can’t wait to see what next semester holds for us!