Monday, March 25, 2013

Jasper Tree Special Needs Homeschool Supplemental Program to Begin This Fall

My friend Wendy Sullivan is working on her Master's in Special Needs education, and is starting a homeschool supplemental program aimed to help kids with Special Needs and their parents.

I'm a homeschool advocate -- not like I'm an activist or anything, kinda too stuck to my drawing board for that -- but as a teacher with a homeschool supplemental program I can see the difference in the character of the children I teach, when I compare them to public school kids and compare them to my own experience. (I was homeschooled by my own mom until I started public school in the first grade. When I entered I was already at a second grade reading level.) I think the education of children falls first to the parent, and that needs to be supplemented by teachers who genuinely love children and love to teach kids.

All's to say, my friend Wendy's son is in my homeschool 4th grade class, and there are two other children in my class on the Autism spectrum this year. These 3 kids are amazing, and the class as a whole really works well together, and I'm very proud of all of them. Knowing Wendy's love for kids and her goal to create a program that especially helps parents that are in situations much like her own, is great incentive to step up and help this become a reality.

Jasper Tree is the name of the new program -- and the reason why it's called so is touching and on the website -- and we're having a fundraising pancake dinner this next Friday, March 30th. It will run from 6:30 to 8:30. It'll be $8 a person, and $25 for a family.

We'll also have a silent auction to help raise funds. There will be several pieces worked on by kids who are interested in joining the program. Also available will be 2 pieces I'm donating. I painted two watercolors for the silent auction -- the images are here on the left -- one of Tulips and one of Columbine flowers. They are pencil, ink and watercolor on watercolor paper. (Fascinating to me is I found out after I had drawn it that the Columbine flower has been used in Art to symbolize the Holy Spirit! I'm SOOO doing a little series of these. I think these flowers are just gorgeous creations God has made!!)

I'm setting the opening bid price at $100, with complete proceeds going to Jasper Tree, and I will pay the TN sales tax for the purchase.

If you are interested in the program, I hope you'll join us, or perhaps drop by to look at the pieces, and maybe even bid ... ! The full event information is listed on the Jasper Tree website.