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The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is committed to engage and inspire through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 works of art on a riverfront campus offers more than 95,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities.

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One Teacher’s Experience at VSA



Written by Heather A. Welch, Assistant Teacher – Intermediate 1/Technology Manager, NorthFloridaSchoolof Special Education

Wednesday my school North Florida School of Special Education had the opportunity to take part of your annual VSA field trip.  Our students loved it.  It was my first time on this particular field trip.  I was very impressed by how organized and interactive it was.  There were so many volunteers at each station and they weren’t afraid to interact with our students.  So many times, I come across people who are volunteers, and they are afraid to interact with special needs students.  It was amazing to see the opportunity for my students to have the chance to be “normal” kids on a field trip.

This is one of my students who talked to all the little statues in the kids’ wing. It was amazing to watch him, read about the statue and then feel the statue; he then proceeded to “talk” to each statue.

Standing in the kids’ zone at the end of the trip, watching my students interact with the volunteers, exploring the art and socializing with their peers and students from other schools; I realized my students were offered a chance to be “normal” for once.  It brought tears to my eyes.  So many of these kids go through life where they get stared at and or not accepted in the real world.  This program allows them normalcy, if only for a few hours.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


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