Several years ago the father of an autistic student approached an area art teacher with a plan. His son, a talented artist, found a way to express himself through art. Now the family wanted to offer the same opportunity to teens and adults with special needs in a special evening arts program.
They call the program Our Voice Through Art. The six-week classes are held three different times throughout the year for an hour in the evenings.
The art teacher is my sister, Jodi England. Jodi has joined us on Anchored in Education before to talk about the importance of art in schools and classrooms. Today she joins us to talk to us about accommodating for students with special needs in the classrooms. She also shares more about the one-of-a-kind organization Our Voice Through Art.
Jodi England knew in middle school that she wanted to do something with art. Inspired by a teacher and blessed with an artistic vision and talent, she pursued a career in art. After spending some time in Chicago studying, she returned to central Illinois to complete her degree in Art Education at Eastern Illinois University.
Upon graduating from EIU, she was hired to teach high school art at MacArthur High School in Deactur, Illinois. After 12 years, she transitioned to argenta-Oreana where she has continued to teach high school students along with middle school students for the past 7 years.
In addition to her teaching duties, she serves as coordinator and teacher for Our Voice Through Art, an art program for teens and adults with special needs. In the rare moment of free time, she can be found creating art, some of which is available at The ArtFarm in Deactur, Illinois.