Fine arts program helps students with special needs - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fine arts program helps students with special needs

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Special education students at an Iowa City alternative learning center received a free therapeutic art workshop.

The Fine Arts Day held at Transitions Services Center an Iowa City Community School District entity, provides community-based education and training for students with special needs ages 18-21.

Students participating had a mental health diagnosis, mild intellectual disability or Asperger's - an autism spectrum disorder.

"A majority of our students have a true interest in art," said Shannon Sullivan-Channon, a teacher at Transition Services Center.

The workshops were a part of a grant Hy-Vee awarded to VSA Iowa, The State Organization on Arts and Disability to provide accessible arts programming in Iowa schools.

VSA Iowa is known for having a longstanding commitment to serving kids and young adults with special needs through volunteerism or financial support.

VSA is working in Iowa schools and community organizations to create a society where youth and young adults with disabilities can learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts.

"We've witnessed how it helps hone their critical thinking skills and allows them to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions in an unconventional way-that may, in some ways, be more conducive for people with certain disabilities," said Sullivan-Channon.

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