In the Spotlight: The Glenholme School’s Arts Program Assists Young People with Learning Differences in Paving a Way to Success

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The Glenholme School, a therapeutic boarding school for students with various learning differences, recognizes the importance of arts experiences and staged its annual spring arts events with spectacular success. The school believes the arts are essential for every child’s educational and personal growth.

The Glenholme School "Schoolhouse Rocks, Jr."

Recently, student-artists of Glenholme delivered an energetic and enlightening "Schoolhouse Rocks, Jr." to a live audience in The Center for the Arts, the school's professional-level theater.

The arts program at Glenholme was a main factor in our decision to enroll our son in the school. We recognized that through performing he found acceptance from other students. Glenholme’s program was the most extensive and best suited his needs.

Spring is a time for budding artists everywhere. Young people are performing in dramas, musicals, choruses, and instrumental recitals of all varieties in school theaters, regional stadiums and prestigious venues across the nation. Recognizing the importance this tradition, The Glenholme School, a therapeutic boarding school for students with various learning differences, staged its yearly spring arts events which included a dramatic performance, a talent show, and the finale of the annual Glenholme Idol talent competition — all with spectacular success.

While arts experiences are often on the fringes of education, typically the first to be eliminated in times of shifting priorities and strained budgets, The Glenholme School maintains a keen focus on offering quality arts experiences to foster development of students with high functioning autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, anxiety and various learning differences. The strength of the Glenholme arts program is derived from a comprehensive integration of arts offerings across all aspects of daily life at the school.

One student recently became Glenholme’s newest shining star on stage. Chris, who enrolled just over a year ago, immersed himself into the arts program at Glenholme with great gusto. He is avidly involved in the chorus and the A Cappella group, dynamically participating in the theater productions, and enthusiastically vied in the Glenholme Idol talent contest. Through his hard work and determination, Chris earned significant roles in the ensemble cast performance of “School House Rocks, Jr.” and the dramatic performance “Knights of the Round Table,” as well as netted the title of “Glenholme Idol.” Each time Chris takes the stage, the audience pauses with anticipation as they prepare to witness what his creativity will soon bring to life. With each moment on stage, Chris shows more creativity and confidence.

Glenholme firmly believes the arts are essential for every child’s educational and personal growth. Experiences through the arts emphasize creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. These are powerful tools for learning; the very skills which employers value today and are fundamental to independence — essentially, crucial areas of development for young people with special needs.

In recent months, talented student-artists demonstrated their flair and ingenuity in several performances in The Center for the Arts, Glenholme’s professional-level visual and performing arts theater. Talent shows and competitions, as well as musical and dramatic performances are common place at Glenholme. Each performance is often a compilation of extraordinary young artists, some seasoned performers and some stage-newcomers, each working to conquer their personal apprehensions associated with performing before a live audience.

When asked how the Glenholme arts program has helped him grow, Chris insightfully noted, “I have really improved my stage presence, particularly by competing in Glenholme Idol, and I have become more comfortable with myself and my abilities.”

The Glenholme School is committed to providing innovative, educational and multidisciplinary arts experiences which encourage positive self-expression, ingenuity and stimulates a greater understanding of social, emotional and academic concepts that are vital to the personal development of each young person. Over the years, many students have found their path to success and future careers through the arts program at The Glenholme School. Several students have matriculated to prestigious arts schools including Berklee College of Music, The Art Institute of America, Sherwood Conservatory of Music at Columbia College, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, and Columbia College: School of Fine and Performing Arts.

Parents and referring professionals agree, the Glenholme program not only recognizes the positive and indelible impact creative activities give students with learning differences, the expansive and integrated approach the school utilizes provides students with the opportunities they need to find their personal pathway to success in the academic, social and emotional capacities. One parent recently noted, “The arts program at Glenholme was a main factor in our decision to enroll our son in the school. As parents, we recognized that through performing he found acceptance from other students. Glenholme’s program was the most extensive and best suited his needs.”

About The Glenholme School:
The Glenholme School, a center of the Devereux organization, is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) therapeutic boarding school for young people with high functioning autism spectrum disorders including Asperger's; ADHD, OCD, Tourette's, depression, anxiety, and various learning differences. The program provides a treatment milieu designed to build competence socially and academically. Our learning environment supports and enhances the ability for young people with special needs to succeed. Devereux is a leading nonprofit behavioral health organization that supports many of the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. For more information about The Glenholme School and its program, visit http://www.theglenholmeschool.org/.

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Denise Watson
@GlenholmeSchool
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