Art Therapy at John F. Kennedy
Art Therapy is a service used around the world to help people express themselves through art media. In schools, art therapy has shown to improve academic performance, is cost effective and can meet a variety of student needs. At JFK, the art therapy program is designed to develop independence and creative expression. Students are able to choose their own projects and art media and work in an “open studio” format. Self-esteem is fostered and the focus is on the process of making the art instead of cookie-cutter, adult-made projects.Our students have participated in regional art contests and won prizes. We also attend the annual festival held by VSANJ in June, which is dedicated to bringing the arts to people with disabilities. We have an artist in residence visit us each year, and visit the Newark Museum annually. Recently, our students worked on a community mural with City Without Walls. A link to an article about the mural is below.The art therapy room has assistive technology and augmentative devices to help ALL of our students express themselves. We are grateful to The Home Depot in East Hanover New Jersey for helping to fabricate helmets used by some of our students to draw who cannot use their hands. Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our art therapist, Laura Salley, MS, ATR-BC, Nationally registered and board certified Art Therapist and Past-President of the New Jersey Art Therapy Association. LSalley@nullnps.k12.nj.us.