Judy Sleeth Scholarship School Highlight: P009Q Walter Reed School

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Judy Sleeth Scholarship School Highlight: P009Q Walter Reed School

Teacher Roberta Kossoff has been a Special Education teacher for 20 years, a classroom middle school teacher for 15 years and an Applied Learning teacher for 5 years. She was excited to be granted the Judy Sleeth Scholarship this year to help bring arts education to her students. 

P009Q- the Walter Reed School is located in Maspeth Queens, New York. It is a self-contained special education site; every student is part of New York’s Citywide District 75 for Special Education. Students have multiple disabilities, but all are ambulatory. As a Special Education teacher, Roberta told us she had implemented numerous programs with her students over the years: a candle making business, growing a rooftop garden, and running a memory and music program at a local nursing home, just to name a few! Speaking on these programs, she noted, “I want to create as many varied opportunities for students to connect as I can.” Her newest program for her students: Art in Action. 

Roberta expressed that Art in Action gives her students the opportunity to “produce beautiful original works of art and learn about art in general as a medium in all its varied forms.” She said that her students have a deeper connection to the artists, and are even becoming comfortable with the idea that they themselves are actually artists too. 

“Art in Action brings these students into the creative process and gives them a sense of pride -they’ve created something personal and they get to talk about it. They get to hear applause for their efforts from their classmates and classroom staff. These experiences are simply invaluable and cannot be emphasized enough. With the materials we’ve been provided, we’ve been able to produce projects that exceed student expectations- each work of art is uniquely beautiful and that is something these youngsters do not experience outside of the Art in Action program.”

At Art in Action, we strive to give students a space to express themselves, grow creatively, and expand their social-emotional skills through art. The social-emotional benefits of the program for her students is something Roberta wanted to make sure she touched on:

“I want to add that the psychological-self esteem portion of this program can’t be undervalued. For these students self pride, self expression and creativity is often missing in their lives. Art in Action has been able to give students a sense of tremendous accomplishment and self worth.”

We are excited to continue our partnership with Roberta and P009Q throughout this school year!

Interested in supporting more Judy Sleeth Scholarship Schools this year? Donate here