In an effort to work towards meeting the needs of all of its learners, more than a dozen Roxbury staff members attended The Miracle Project at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown last month.
This unique program proposes new curriculum for children with autism spectrum disorders and other special needs by using music, dance, and theatre to unlock the creativity, personalities, and potential of these children.
Elaine Hall, the organization founder, presented at the show and spoke of her personal journey as a parent with a child with autism. After the heartbreak of her son’s diagnosis, she chose to find a way to reach him and others like him.
The Miracle Project uses a groundbreaking methodology to provide individuals with autism and other disabilities the tools to build communication, social skills, community, and greater self-esteem through inclusive theatre and expressive arts programs.
This program allows all children of all abilities to grow in skill and in spirit while creating and performing in original musicals. The Miracle Project is dedicated to empowering those living with autism.
Roxbury staff members thought the presentation was thought provoking in many ways.
“I thought it was a great program to enhance communication skills and teach some really needed social interaction skills to individuals who could benefit,” said Jennifer Toupet, second-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. “We could use the information to possibly refer parents of students who may be appropriate. Hopefully, it will be something that will grow and expand into schools and more communities.”
Teachers and support staff are already eager to incorporate facets of the program into their schools. Izzy Speronza, Jefferson and Nixon elementary art teacher is already looking into it.
“I spoke with the center’s Education Director, Cathy Roy, after the lecture about the possibility of this program being offered to area schools in the future,” Speronza said. Down the line that is what they’re hoping for. This is their first year offering The Miracle Project classes at their center, so once they become certified they can do more community outreach programs as they grow.”
Carolyn Cuda and Patti Klein, Jefferson school special education teachers, plan on developing a faculty meeting presentation to illustrate the value of The Miracle Project.
For more information regarding this project, visit www.mayoarts.org/education/the-miracle-project.