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Very Special Art Show held at Bell High School

Some exceptional students in Gilchrist County were given a chance to show their beautiful art work at Bell High School Auditorium on Tuesday, December 4.
The young artists are all members of Bell Elementary and Bell High School Varying Exceptionalities classes.
Through a grant these students were chosen to participate in VSA Arts4all Florida Program. Though this program the students have learned skills in visual arts through advanced technology such as 3D printers, 3D software and virtual reality.
The artist in residency, Janalyn Peppel, has taught visual art lessons for eight weeks to classes of students ranging from Kindergarten to 12 grade. These art projects incorporated core curriculum with hands-on activities. The students were allowed and encouraged to create art in a non-traditional manner.
Peggy Sue Jones Sternad, the teacher in the Varying Exceptionalities class, said, “My children are unique individuals with a plethora of gifts to offer society.” Sternad’s class motto is “The Little Class that Can.” Children that Can sums up their class’s accomplishments using the 3D art opportunities provided by Arts4All through their My Art My Way program. Sternad feels the children in her class have benefited greatly from Janalyn Peppel’s assistance. The artist in residence part of the program is funded by Suncoast Credit Union. Students in these Gilchrist County classrooms are having a wonderful opportunity to explore art in a way that is very meaningful to them as individuals with unique talents.
One student in Sternad’s class, a third grader, Phoebe Salyers’ self portrait has been chosen to be on display at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Phoebe’s art work was chosen through the International Art Program for Children with Disabilities Art contest.
The guest speaker for the Varying Exceptionalities Arts4All show was Trenton’s own Drew Dees. Dees is twenty-three years old and now lives in Gainesville where he attends the University of Florida. Dees is working toward a degree telecommunications. He currently volunteers at WUFT, a student run news outlet where he reports on stories each week as a multimedia journalist for WUFT-FM.
Drew is living with Cerebral Palsy but it does not stop him from pursuing his dreams.
Students who attended the program on Tuesday listened as Dees told them no matter what never keep trying to reach their goals.
Arts4All Florida, is a not-for-profit organization that coordinates a statewide My Art My Way program for students with and without disabilities in public schools. More information about this program contact Dee Miller at (813) 974-0745 or visit www.art4allflorida.org.

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