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Lehigh Valley

Children with special needs help create art

Children with special needs help create art

EASTON, Pa. - If you head to The Crayola Experience in the next few days, you'll get the chance to see some colorful paintings done by local children. These pint-sized Picassos hope you take a message away from their art.

They're bright and colorful and covered with hand prints. Six large paintings hang on the walls at the Crayola Experience at 30 Centre Square in Easton.

"We're having an exhibit of artwork done by groups of children, classrooms of children," explained Kimberly Resh, Executive Director of Mikayla's Voice.

Three classes in three different schools in the Lehigh Valley. Each one got creative to include artists of all abilities, even if it meant painting with the wheels of a wheel chair or the tail of a service dog.

"I think it's just a message of inclusion that there's always a way to include someone," shared Resh.

The six-foot by five-foot paintings are a beautiful reminder that's possible. 9-year-old Jack Knudson is proud of the art he and his classmates at the Swain School created.

"They could learn that you can do anything."

His service dog Machi goes everywhere with him, and even got in on the project.

"Her paw prints for the A and her tail for the K," added Jack.

"Did she like her tail being painted with?"

"I don't think so."

The exhibit is called "Wheels of Friendship." It's a one of a kind program developed by local non-profit Mikayla's Voice and funded by a grant from Crayola.

"Hopefully in ten years across the Valley every school will have a Wheels of Friendship painting hanging to remind kids to always include everyone," smiled Resh.

Sara Miller, 10, says she had a lot of fun with her friends at Southern Lehigh Intermediate School, and even has a favorite painting, it's a big bright star.

"Her hand print is in the middle," said classmate Rachel Kressler.

Sara hopes people take away a valuable message if they come to see the art.

"That they don't judge."

If you want to check out the Wheels of Friendship exhibit it will be at the Crayola Experience in Easton through January 21st.

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