Dream Builders: Art Connects Students at James Coble Middle School
By Office of Communication
Posted on October 29, 2019, October 29, 2019

Dream Builders is a show on MyArlingtonTV that highlights the ways our community is helping kids dream big, nurture their creativity, polish their skills and develop the tools they need to achieve their American Dream as young adults.

The latest Dream Builders episode take us to Mansfield ISD's James Coble Middle School, where students are forming new bonds over art.

The "Partners in Art" program connects students with disabilities with other students. While their classes are usually separate, they come together in Stephanie Friedrich's art class. 

"That’s really what the life-skills kids need. They need that connection. They get adult supervision all day long, but they really need to interact with their peers," Friedrich said. "I think this class has given them that and built their confidence up. And they enjoy coming to art now. Because it’s okay to be them."

Josephine Maurer teaches students with disabilities and says spending time with general-education students in is an eye-opening experience for everyone involved.

"I think it teaches them [general education students] a lot of patience and understanding because some of them come in with thoughts about what the kids may be like," Maurer said. "And when they find out how cool they really are, they're surprised."

Students Teona Uptgrow and Shayla Gonzales were art partners for the semester. And what started as school work quickly developed into a friendship. 

"We just kept talking, just getting to know each other more. That's how we became close." Uptgrow said.

Staff at the school say the lessons extend off the page, as students gain a greater understanding of the differences between people — and accepting them for who they are.  

Click here to learn more about James Coble Middle School in Mansfield ISD.

Students create art together

The City’s Office of Communication develops programming for MyArlingtonTV. Viewers can find MyArlingtonTV programs on the following cable systems: Spectrum Channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse channel 99.

All episodes of Dream Builders are also available on the City’s YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account.

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