ST. LOUIS — After an art lesson with the nonprofit Craftibility, happy faces are what you see, and big hearts are what you get.
“So, our mission is to teach children of all abilities – mostly young children – to teach them to be able to feel comfortable around adults with special needs and the elderly. And it’s all done through arts and crafts,” said Terri Canis, special education teacher who started Craftibility.
Here’s what a lesson from Craftibility would look like before the pandemic: an instructor would lead an arts and crafts project for children of all abilities with the help of assistants who are adults with special needs from the St. Louis Arc and Easterseals Midwest. Craftibility would also go into nursing homes for classes with children and residents.
"We're exposing the children to people of all abilities, which allows kids to learn to be more compassionate. And especially as they become teenagers and adults," said Canis.
Because of the pandemic, instructors and assistants cannot go to the library or a nursing home to hold classes.
So, Canis is taking her approach of crafting while building character to an online platform. She teaches about empathy, respect and responsibility in a way kids can understand through storytelling. And the kids’ artwork brings it to life.
An art lesson can lead to a life lesson.