Monday, March 21, 2016

"Excellence in Racine: Art Can be Therapy at Racine Alternative Education"

From Racine County Eye:

By Heather Asiyanbi in Schools · March 21, 2016 · No comments

Credit - Racine County Eye

"Megan Goers’ art classroom at Racine Alternative Education is a collaborative environment where students learn to work together on something bigger than themselves and gain confidence to see their future.

"'I was so intimidated when I took my first class with Ms. Goers because everyone was so close and such a good artist,' Jazmyn Seeger said. 'I didn’t talk for the first month, but that’s all changed now.'

"Seeger, 16, is a junior, and she is filled with confidence; she sits tall and looks people in the eye when she talks to them. She suffered from such anxiety about asking for help in her math and chemistry classes at J.I. Case High School that she fell too far behind to realistically catch up in the traditional classroom. She said her parents found RAE, and attending classes there – especially art with Goers – made all the difference in the world.

"'I never thought I would draw or even paint, but Ms. Goers always knew I could do it, and now I do,' Seeger added.

"Dr. Eric Gallien, deputy superintendent, said art at RAE often serves as therapy for students.

"'The art program there is an outlet for students and really helps keep students engaged,' he said.

"Goers nodded her agreement.

"'What we do here is art therapy for at-risk students,' she said. 'I run my classroom as a collaborative effort where students have to learn to work together on something that’s bigger than just one person. They critique each other, which can be terrifying the first couple of times, but in the end, they learn about each other and themselves and that there is something bigger, like a future.'"

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