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June 19, 2013

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June 19, 2013

I am a Board Member and Volunteer Consultant with Art Expression, Inc. I have seen the program up close and personal. The Art Expression program changes lives. Members participate in afterschool art directives aimed to stimulate education, social skills and personal growth. Everyone's art is seen as personal expression, and the group, the facilitators, and the mastered degreed art therapist all play a part in the fun. The most important part is that participants feel a connection and often times find friendships that develop, and teachers become true mentors. The program is inclusive, non-judgmental, fun, and educational.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find funding for staff and expansion.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 17, 2013

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June 17, 2013

I am an art therapist and have had the honor of facilitating Art Expressions programs in many Pittsburgh area schools over the past 8+ years. What I love about the Art Expressions programs are that they are fun experiences for children that allows them to explore feelings, emotions, troubles and most of all, the developing person they are becoming. I've experienced children in Art Expression programs share for the first time that they are victims of violence, sexual abuse or are a member of a family in crisis. I've experienced bullies and victims in the same Art Expressions group find middle ground. I've also experienced kids who appreciate the opportunity to address issues large and small; good or bad in an encouraging environment. It's magical, and we know it works. Feedback from families and school personal tell us we're on to something.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

alleviate the funding component. School districts would write it into their yearly budget, because it enhances the academic and developmental experience in a way traditional curriculum does not. We know Art Expressions is a valuable experience that helps with academic performance, coping and identification of unresolved issues.

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 17, 2013

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June 17, 2013

I am an elementary principal whose students have experienced the many wonderful offerings of this program. Our community reflects a high percentage of need. Art Expression has undoubtedly given our students opportunities to experience their artistic creativity, while dealing with issues of a more sensitive and personal nature. From staff, to parents and students....this program has had a huge success for our students and has been very well received. The approach is unique. The skills acquired are life long lessons, which our students will carry with them. One of my most memorable activities for the students were the creation of "worry beads". These were beautiful beads made by the children from clay that were attached to a piece of string. The students learned to carry them in their pockets and when they felt overwhelmed with anxiety or fear, they simply had to place their hand in their pocket and begin rolling their way through their strand/problem. What was so wonderful was that by the time the child reaches the end, their worries were gone. These "worry beads" were very affective. I can remember my interactions with two little boys in particular, where their beads got them through the day. Thanks Art Expression for opening new and creative doorways for our students to handle their emotions. Your services I'm sure have been irreplaceable for many of our students. This wouldn't have happened without you!!!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

wish that more monies were available to organizations of this quality and standard so that more kids could receive these much needed services.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 17, 2013

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June 17, 2013

Art Expression provides wonderful programming for children! I have observed first hand the wonderful work their educators have done in the homeless shelter where I work. Their programming brought creativity and laughter into our space and provided kids with the opportunity to open up and make something truly unique. I think the kids truly enjoyed the process as much as the final products they created.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 29, 2011

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September 29, 2011

I've been an Art Therapist for years, and have worked in hospital, residential, corporate and clinical settings. Art Expression Inc. is one of the most exciting programs I have been a part of. Art Expression serves as an after school program, which reaches children of many ages. It's an opportunity for me to teach stress-reducing art techniques I did not learn until I studied art therapy in college! The Art Therapists design the art projects and are able to tailor to each classroom we serve. This means that the teachers and children can have input in what type of projects they want to work on, what type of art supplies they enjoy using. The co-facilitators are educators in the school system who already know the kids. This collaboration makes for powerful, open discussion. The art focuses on building self-esteem, frustration tolerance, social skills - things every child needs to succeed academically and throughout their lifetime.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In my classrooms, I have seen shy children light up during share time and make new friends. I watched "typical children" include those with special needs, to create and play their own board games. I hear teachers comment about how different the children are after school, and how their personalities have a chance to breathe and flourish. Art making and sharing quickly becomes a common ground where everyone's feelings are validated and imperfections are celebrated.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increasing our funding is essential for our Nonprofit to expand. The founders of Art Expression are extremely generous, but their donations alone cannot support a growing program. The American Art Therapy Association presented the Art Expression program as a model for the Nation's K-12 schools. The schools we currently serve want to keep going, and more local schools are requesting the program.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

A colleague asked me to be an Art Therapist for the program.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

To facilitate a positive impact in schools, using an art therapy based model to reach children from K-12.

What is its top priority in the long run?

The Foundation is working to maintain and expand the program in Allegheny County schools.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011

It is rare in ones life to find something that one can be truly passionate about and I consider myself lucky to have been fortunate enough to have found Art Expression Incorporated. This organization is a one of a kind program that utilizes my passion of art therapy within school systems. What makes this program unique is that it is an inclusive (having both regular and special education students) social skill building program. It is run by a master level art therapist and school facilitators within the school building; the place where most socialization occurs. Students use both directive and open studio approaches to expressive themselves in distinctive ways. The programs goals include increase in self esteem, increase in positive socialization techniques, use of problem solving steps, and better tolerance of anger frustration. The positive results of the program are seen in students behaviors, attitudes, and personal stories.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the testimonials I have received from parents/ student/ teachers, observable positive peer interactions, observable decrease in negative behaviors.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue to grow and make positive changes to better meet the overall goals of the program.

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  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Participate in 2 Art Expression Inc. classroom sessions helping our facilitators and students.