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Picture This!!

Dear TCS families –

We are excited to welcome Lisa Bartoli, Executive Director of Art Therapy Express, back to The College School this spring to work with many of our students.  In previous projects, Ms. Lisa has guided our students to mentor peers from local schools, including many differently-abled students, in a variety of art projects.

Our current project, titled Picture This, involves using digital photography to unify students with and without disabilities, allowing all children to connect socially with their same aged peers.  Over the course of the next 5 months, TCS students will be interacting with students in the Meadowood School, building bridges between the two groups, developing friendships, and unlocking creative potential.  This opportunity will also provide our students with an opportunity to better understand the barriers and negative attitudes that individuals with disabilities face every day, and promote an increase in understanding, respect, awareness, support and friendship, all of which support changing negative attitudes into positive attitudes.

Picture This is a multi-step project that begins this month (January) with the students creating autobiographical picture collages that will introduce them to their peers in the Meadowood program via a video-conference session.  In order to create the collages, students will use iPads to take photographs at school to answer questions such as “Who am I?,” “What do I enjoy doing?,” “Hobbies?,” “Interests?,” “Likes?,” “Dislikes?,” Family Roles?,” “Friends?,” “What are you proud of?,” etc.  Students are welcome to bring in props from home to aid them in their picture taking if they would like.  We will be taking the photographs in Technology class, for two weeks, beginning Thursday, January 24th.

Many students have also inquired about taking photographs at home.  We are encouraging students to extend upon this project and would love to include photographs taken at home as well.  We are asking students to assume ownership of the photograph by either taking the photographs themselves or organizing the subject matter and composition of the shot.

In order for students to maintain their photographs in one place, they should either email these photographs to themselves using their gaggle accounts, or bring the photographs to school on a flash drive where they can be included with photographs taken here at school.

The next steps of the project include instruction and practice in editing photographs and creating appealing collages.  We will also be scheduling several face-to-face sessions with students in the Meadowood Program, which will allow us to build friendships, take pictures of our new friends in different settings, and share the results of our creative work.  Individual creations and the culminating projects of Picture This will ultimately be displayed online (on a password protected website) and in our Annual TCS Art Show, which will be held in May.

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