This season, one of our 3rd grade Art Buddies boys is on the autism spectrum. He had a really hard time focusing and opening up to his Art Buddy at the start, but his mentor Stuart Wainstock did a wonderful job working with him -- being patient, and helping him express his ideas however he wanted.
Rather than building a costume, Stuart and his little buddy built a bright red abstract 3-D dinosaur. On its back were a bunch of tiny animals that needed protection.
The program ended as usual with kids and mentors presenting their creations to the whole group. The most amazing thing to witness is when an otherwise timid and uncertain child shines with pride and confidence like this boy did, talking about his work in front of a group of 60+ people -- smiling the entire time.
It's moments like this that reveal the empowering and inspiring impact of creative mentoring.
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