Local teacher uses art as therapy

By WEEK Reporter

April 3, 2013 Updated Apr 3, 2013 at 10:03 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Some local students are tapping into their talents, thanks to a new art class.

It's proving to be such a success, it landed a spot in this week's One Class at A Time.

Terry Spayer teaches art at Roosevelt Magnet School in Peoria. Being creative is what gets his mind going and he says the $1000 grant will help keep the students' minds active with new projects.

"There's lots of clay projects. There's a lot of sculpturing projects, different kinds of tools the kids can use," Spayer said.

However, it's more than just arts and crafts. Mr. Spayer uses art as therapy for his students.

"I always say that art comes from a person's heart. It's how they feel about things. We talk about how they're feeling at the time and what the art means and just reassure to them that what they do is important," Spayer said.

Mary Seelye can attest to that. The 4th and 5th grade teacher says doing art helps the kids focus.

"It calms them down, and of course, when they're calm, and they're doing their work and their grades are going up... I mean, it's tremendous. I'm so glad that he's with us," Seelye said.

Roosevelt Magnet prides itself in its fine art. This is the first year the school has introduced therapy art. By the looks of it, it's quickly becoming a masterpiece.

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