March 11, 2016

Thank you Lisa for being a great teacher!

Hello Lisa:
I just wanted to let you know that I have been thrilled with the art class that you have been presenting to our group of home school children.
I have three children attending the class: Naomi is seventeen and has sketched for as long as I can remember, but has not done too many other mediums like oil, acrylic or water colors. Nathaniel is fifteen and has also enjoyed sketching since he was a wee one. I always made sure to keep both of these children provided with sketch books and color pencils etc....,. Both of these young people have enjoyed the class immensely. Your way of teaching is very structured, yet free style. By that I mean you allow the children to do some of their own thing, yet encourage them with praise and help them to see what exercises need to be emphasized on that particular day.
Lisa, I have appreciated your sweet spirit with the children. I have never heard a discouraging word, and have watched some of these students blossom! I have sat in with many of the classes and have helped to keep the children on target, I hope.
The young man that I would like to talk about here is our very youngest child, Ragain. We have had Ragain as a foster child since he was four and a half. He is now seven, and last Summer we were able to adopt this little guy.
Ragain had been in about four foster homes on again, off again, since he was very little. He came to us as a very traumatized child. You can only imagine the heart ache that this little person had been through. He has struggled, of course, and has had a measure of healing too. At first, he did not even know nursery rhymes, and I felt it necessary to do this with him. He did not sing, he did not do any kind of art. It was like this part of his life was all jammed up. We have had success, as tools of the Lord, to  bring him through the healing process to a degree, but of course realize the damage done to him will not just  disappear over night.
The art class, that we started to attend the Winter of 2016, has been wonderful!
I was a little worried about Ragain being in a structured class room setting, and therefore decided that I should sit in the class with him. The older children also work well with him, so I figured the times that I could not be there, he would do fine. I did not expect to see such amazing results in his little life however!!!!!!!
Since his adoption, June of 2015, he has had a neat big coloring book. It has designs with in the designs and he never was interested in doing anything with it before. Since this class, you will find a very ACTIVE boy settling down to color from time to time. Our children have also contributed to doing it with him, and this has been a very satisfying one on one time with Ragain.
Lisa, you have been a person with a ready smile, and much motivation for our Ragain!!!! You have taken an interest in him as a person, and though he often has different ideas than yours, you have directed him and been a good leader. This leadership has not  just happened with Ragain, but to all of the other children in the class as well.
I will finish up with a little story that just happened today.
In school today, we were writing and drawing pictures for Ragain's nephews that live in Papua, New Guinea. (Our daughter and her husband and our four grandsons.)
Ragain asked if he could go out side so he could get more details for what he wanted to draw. I set the timer for him for fifteen minutes, then ended up giving him twenty minutes. He came in with the cutest picture of a jar of worms, and a patch of dirt where he had dug the worms out of. He also drew a dinosaur and other various images. (I can't remember the last time I saw a dinosaur out side.......!) He  figured out how to spell both of the boys name pretty well too! (Berean and Keen, two unfamiliar names!)
I was so blessed with his pictures and the communication he had with the boys via describing his pictures. He had also read in an old arts and crafts book, that my mother gave  us, how to inscribe pictures. This he did, it was a picture he and the boys climbing coconut trees and throwing coconuts down for Tyler, their Dad, to catch.  Then he proceeded to tell our seven year old grandson how to inscribe a picture, and draw with crayon over it , so it would show up.
This has been an incredible time in seeing Ragain's growth, not just in art, but in so many ways.
I can not thank you enough for your part, Lisa, in the teaching of this class and for the fine character qualities that you demonstrate, as well as the art. For life is multi faceted and we all need demonstration of good communication skills, positive relational skills, and enthusiasm for communicating art in a way that will reach out to others.
I believe that you and those that are a part of making this happen for these children can not be commended enough.
I thank you!!!
A very grateful Mom and Adoptive Mom
Elaine C. Nibler
Art is something that will benefit  a person for life.

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