by Mentor Artist Thomas Arndt
“PRINCESSES!!!” exclaimed the Dinosaur. He was on “The Family Feud Dating Game” (a play written by a group of students at Grant Grover School at Marin College) and he had just been asked–by the Princess no less–what his favorite food was. Clearly, he did not make the cut, as she inched away and the buzzer sounded. The sad dinosaur slunk away.
I had my first experience working with severely handicapped adults at Grant Grover School this semester and absolutely loved it. It was challenging, especially having such a wide array of abilities in a single class, but the students were all so attentive to helping each other succeed at their own individual levels, it was a great opportunity. Three separate groups, each mixed from different classes, created their own shows: “The Family Feud Dating Game”, “The President’s Sneeze”, and “The Skeleton Bone”. The students lit up each day and grew a tremendous amount during our classes together. I saw students understand more and more each week about how to participate, and I know they were all proud of the work that they created.
Our final performances were a huge success! Parents and families all crowded into the common space, and laughed, cheered and applauded at the great, creative work that each group did. It was a true honor to be a part of the team and I look forward to seeing them again next year!