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 Good News: SRU art graduate helps special needs adults at Sunbury YMCA 



SRU Good News for Sept. 4, 2009


SRU art graduate helps special needs adults at Sunbury YMCA


Heaven Felmy, a July Slippery Rock University art graduate from Selinsgrove, has been named the private art instructor for adults with special needs at the YMCA Arts Center in Sunbury.

Felmy interned at a western Pennsylvania high school working with children with a variety of disabilities, according to a story in the The Daily Item.

"It was very challenging," Felmy told the newspaper, "but I could tell it was making a difference." Among those she worked with was a blind youngster in a painting class. "I knew he couldn't see what he was painting or know the colors he was using, so I helped him finger paint," she said. "He could feel the paint going onto the paper, something he had never experienced before."

Felmy helped with the Y's art camp during the summer. "I tried to take them beyond, to talk with them about art," she said. She also hopes the lessons will be an opportunity for her students to explore and try different things. "I want them to know they can come and do art," she said. "There is no place for special needs individuals to explore art. I don't care if they make a mess. It's ok to experiment. The small experiences will help them develop creativity."

Her job, as she sees it, will be to be creative as well, to help her students overcome their fears, she said. "Forget about the teaching," she said. "I'll show them by doing."

She will also teach a course called "3-D Fun," for students aged 10 and older. The project involves exploring creative ways to use paper, wood, metal, string, glue and various other found materials to create art.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives. 


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