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August 15, 2014

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August 15, 2014

I am a former Art Teacher for the Pittsburgh City Schools and also for The Children's Institute, a school created to meet the needs of children who are challenged with special needs. Consequently, I have seen various attempts at "inclusion." The goal of inclusion is to have children with special needs feel good about participating in a program with "mainstream children." After all, how can a child learn to function in the "real world" when they are never interacting with children outside of their special ed. setting.
I can honestly say that I have never seen inclusion work as well as it does in Art Expression.
I can also say that every child who participates in Art Expression is getting invaluable gifts that are not available any where else - they are having unique opportunities to express themselves and to feel supported and less isolated. Planting these ego strengthening seeds is priceless and can change a child's life in ways that we can't even measure.
I was an Art Facilitator in this group last spring and I took away 2 images that have stayed with me. One was when my co-facilitator, their 3rd grader teacher, exclaimed that she has never seen her students "this focused." The second image was one of the kids writing on the board,"Art Expression Rocks!' I couldn't agree more.

Ways to make it better...

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

like to see it in more schools.

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?

2014

October 18, 2013

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October 18, 2013

Having followed the progression of Art Expression over the last 3 years from an outsider and nonprofit blogger perspective, I can’t say enough about the work that Art Expression does. Coming from my background in Music Therapy, I value the impact of their work using art to develop positive social interaction, self-esteem, and creativity in our youth in a fully inclusive environment. When you speak with those involved with the organization, you can feel the passion, intensity, intelligence, and devotion they have for providing the services they offer. The organization has established a range of programs, integrating artistic mediums with science and technology, math, environmental issues, and emotional well-being. What is also impressive, is that Art Expression works well with others – aligning their programming with educational core standards accessing teacher input; connecting with other organizations to combine projects, such as with the Toonseum, Operation Military Kids, and the Homeless Children’s Education Fund; and bringing together children of all abilities and backgrounds to experience the power of art in their lives. I fully endorse and support the ways Art Expression implements their mission and passion for bringing expressive art activities to children.

Ways to make it better...

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

I believe Art Expression, Inc. has built a strong, necessary, organized, and viable resource to the area - the only change needed is to access more funding avenues so that their reach may be broadened.

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 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

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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.