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  Barry Rose - Artist Mitchell Elementary

     The Principal of Mitchell Elementary, Martha Urioste, gave me a call in 1981, wanting to meet about a problem she percieved at her school. It seemed that two disparate groups, both housed at Mitchell at that time, behaved in an almost completely segregated manner. The students in the Gifted and Talented program rarely, if ever, interacted with the students in the Learning Disabilities program, nor did their respective teachers. Martha wondered if an art program could be designed to address this.  It could.
     Working with representatives from each of the groups in a regular longer term classroom situation, a design was arrived at, and the necessary skills were learned. The goal: to cover two existing  benches on the front and side of the school, with mosaics. Those students who had learned and practiced the mosaic techniques, then helped each class in the school, as they were brought one at a time to the benches for individual work sessions. The resulting benches (a part of one of which is shown-with visiting neighborhood dignitaries-at right) are a lasting reminder of their possitive efforts together, a  shared experience through which the gap between the two student and teacher groups was bridged.
     I could not tell, in the workshop situations, which students were Gifted and which were L.D., and I have noticed over the years, that many students who don't excell in academics or sports or social skills often do in the arts.