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Arts and Free Play

Thoughts for the day:

Recent research shows the correlation between the amount of dramatic play in pre-school and expulsion rates.  Basically, less play leads to more expulsion.     Stephen Henshaw, professor of psychology at Berkley, says: “Even more vital than the learning of reading  is the learning of play skills.”

In the 1970’s, Germany turned Kindergartens into centres for cognitive achievement.  A study was done comparing 50 play-based classes with the new learning centres.  It was discovered that by age 10, the children in play-based classes were doing better, advanced in academics and better adjusted socially and emotionally than their peers in the new learning centres. The former also excelled in creativity and intelligence.

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2015 in Review – click on the link below.

Newsletter Dec. 2015 pdf

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New Creative Arts program for High School

Students in the Horton High Resource Program are enjoying the Adventures of Odysseus on his journey home from the Trojan Wars.  Odysseus meets Circe and saves his men from being turned into pigs, he bravely steers the ship  through the whirlpools, barely escapes the sea monsters and the mesmerizing call of the mermaids or sirens.  The next episode takes him to the land of the Cyclopes.

On the first day of the program we painted the boat which is used everyday as the crew sails on to the next adventure:

painting O's boat Odyssesu' boat

 

 

 

 

 

Painting the boat

Stay tuned!

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Once again, the Candlelight Spiral Ceremony brings a wonderful warmth to the room and hearts of  the participants.  Here is the evergreen spiral in waiting:

IMG_4360

And here is the Candlelit Spiral:

thumb_IMG_4361_1024Hope to see you next year!

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Annual Candlelight Spiral

Put November 29th on your calendar!  This is a wonderful spirit-filled way to welcome in the Season of the Light.

 

advent spiral 2015

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New Program – Kaleidoscope New Minas!

Kaleidoscope New Minas is a new program set up to offer day programming to young adults with special needs who are transitioning or have already transitioned from high school and have not found work placement.  Our goal is to continue to foster social and recreational development, and who knows…. maybe find hidden talents!

We are starting with a two-session pilot at Louie Millet Centre in New Minas on November 18 and 25.  Five students and their assistants from Horton High will attend the two-hour sessions.   A variety of activities will be offered, including art, movement, games, and music.  Through these two sessions we hope to get a sense of what works, what kind of activities will engage the participants.  This is just the first small step in what we hope will expand into ????

Check out the Kaleidoscope New Minas Facebook page ….

 

Find us on Facebook

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When: Saturday Sept. 19, 9:30 – 4:30  and Oct. 24, 9:30 – 4:30
Place: Greenwich Community Hall
Cost: $50 for each, or $90 for both

In this two-part experiential workshop, we will explore the Basic Neurocellular Patterns identified by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen of the School for Body-Mind Centering®. The Basic Neurocellular Patterns are the foundation of our psychophysical expression—the way we move, perceive and relate in the world. Embodying and understanding early fluid and neurological patterns of movement can enhance our sense of presence and our ability to be present to others, especially babies and children.

The first session on September 19th will focus on the pre-spinal patterns of movement. We will explore “cellular breathing” and the early fluid patterns that lend volume and fullness to our movement. The second session on October 24th will focus on the spinal patterns of movement.

These sessions would be valuable to counsellors, teachers, education students, early childhood educators, therapists, parents & people who work with those with special needs.  Sessions can be taken individually or as a pair.  Please bring lunch & a mat or blanket.

For more information and registration, contact Kathleen Purdy, kp@alexandersociety.org or call (902) 582-3888

Kathie Brown is an Occupational Therapist (Reg NS) and Somatic Movement Educator (Reg ISMETA) with many years of experience in serving babies, children and families. She is certified in Embodied Developmental Movement and Yoga and as a Somatic Movement Educator through the School for Body-Mind Centering®. Kathie is the co-owner of Dynamic Balance Centre for Occupational Therapy and Counselling in Blockhouse, Nova Scotia. She lives in Lunenburg County.

Click on this link to download a printable poster.

Fall Workshops: Exploring Early Developmental Movement Patterns

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Summer Respite – Fall Outlook

New Developmental Movement workshops are being planned for Sept. 19 and October 24th.  Both are full-day sessions, facilitated by Kathie Brown, O.T. , certified in Embodied Developmental Movement and Yoga and as a Somatic Movement Educator through the School for Body-Mind Centering®.

In this two-part experiential workshop, we will explore the Basic Neurocellular Patterns identified by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen of the School for Body-Mind Centering®. The Basic Neurocellular Patterns are the foundation of our psychophysical expression—the way we move, perceive and relate in the world. Embodying and understanding early fluid and neurological patterns of movement can enhance our sense of presence and our ability to be present to others, especially babies and children.

These workshops will be of interest to anyone who is working therapeutically, or in early childhood education, public school, with people who are intellectually challenged, parents, etc.   You may be able to use these two days as a credit toward certification hours.  Please contact us to inquire further.  Click  Contact in the menu bar if you would like to register and/or have questions.  A flyer will be posted here soon.

Other possibilities for the fall include a Creative Arts Program for youth, a Leadership workshop for anyone who wishes to learn how to facilitate Creative Arts programs – they could be for schools or in the community.  See previous post for description of the workshop.

Until Later….Meanwhile, hope you’re finding  a way to keep cool!

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Alexander Society offering Leadership Training

The Alexander Society runs unique and exciting multi-sensory arts-based programs for children and youth of all ages and abilities.  Participants engage in storytelling, drama, movement/dance, music, painting, drawing and crafts.
These Creative Arts programs provide an opportunity for people who are challenged to be with each other, and to build friendships within the community which may last a lifetime. Peers, friends, and family members are invited to participate, creating an open, inclusive atmosphere which reverberates into the wider community. The Arts provide an ideal opportunity for everyone to work and develop at their own pace, while enhancing cognitive, physical, educational, social and emotional development.
Weekly programs are focused around one story, usually a legend, myth or fairy tale, which is developed over the course of eight to ten weeks. Through imaginative participation in the story, the students learn songs, play instruments, take on roles, and move in many different ways. In the process, they build self-confidence, enhance sensory-integration and develop and refine skills such as listening, sequencing, vocabulary, memory, fine and gross motor control, attention span and social skills.  These times together allow the children to be totally accepted in a non-competitive, non-judgemental setting.
Some participants may need one-on-one support to fully engage in the activities.
Through our volunteer program, participants are given the individual support they need to strive toward their potential.  The volunteers also benefit by learning about and feeling more comfortable with people who are different from themselves, and taking what they learn into their workplace and lives.  Ultimately, everyone gains and the society at large is richer.
The programs are usually facilitated by two people – one to lead the story and drama components and one to lead the music activities.

Kathleen Purdy, co-founder of the Alexander Society and facilitator of Creative Arts programs is available to present Leadership Training workshops to people who are interested in learning how to facilitate these programs.

Following is an overview of the training:

Two-day workshop:   (It is important to separate Sessions 1 and 2 to give participants the time to prepare for Session 2.  Preferably the two sessions would be a week apart.  However, it could work over a Saturday and Sunday.)

Overview: Using one of the stories that we developed over the past 14 years, workshop participants will learn how to integrate music, movement, drama, visual arts and crafts to create a full multi-sensory experience.

Session 1
Introduction to how the programs work.
Demonstrate several episodes of the chosen story.  Engage the participants in making some of the props to be used in the drama.
Find themes in the story; create movement, music and other art activities around the themes.
Break into groups; each will plan and present an episode of the story.

In preparation for Session 2, designate groups of 2 – 4 people; each group will choose a story to work with.   They may choose from stories already in the Creative Arts repertoire, or choose a story of their liking.  This entails the groups getting together between sessions to work on their presentation.

Session 2
Each group will present several episodes of their story.  They will be discussed, suggestions offered, new ideas played with. At the end of the day, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Following the workshop, Kathleen is willing to help any of the participants with the initial organization of a community or school program, help facilitate the first one or two sessions and then be on call as an adviser.   She is also able to provide some props from the Alexander Society collection, where needed, and to help find volunteers.

For more information please contact:
Kathleen Purdy, Executive Director
Alexander Society for Special Needs
582-3888
email: kp@alexandersociety.org
web: www.alexandersociety.org

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