Raleigh teacher hoping to raise funds for art supplies for special needs students

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Art supplies come with a price tag and it’s often a cost paid by teachers.

Art teachers of a special needs class in Wake County want their students to express themselves beyond a blank sheet of paper.

Trays full of brushes and bottles of paint — a few strokes later, the creative juices are flowing in an art class at Athens Drive High school.

“It’s relaxing,” said Chow, a student.

“It’s relaxing? It sure is, isn’t it,” said ID Moderate Teacher Jason Hunning.

This is a unique art class – all the students have intellectual disabilities.

“I like to be very colorful,” 12th grader Alexis said.

Alexis put dots on his painting.

“Because I thought it would pop more,” he said.

“They definitely do pop. Great choice of colors,” CBS North Carolina’s Sharon Tazewell said.

“I did some patterns with my favorite colors,” 11th-grader Kimberly said.

Hafsa says she likes to draw flowers, using her school colors.

“Looks good! Nice, careful painting,” the art teacher told her class.

In this class students, use an array of mediums.

“But we really don’t have the materials. So, in the past we’ve tried to use recycled materials,” Hunning said.

This year, Hunning wants to give students an opportunity to work with materials most artists work with, such as canvas and clay.

“It’s really just a matter of getting it funded,” he said.

“When you see what you’ve created, how does that make you feel?” Tazewell asked Alexis.

“Like, proud, accomplished,” he said.

“Our goal for them is to become as independent as possible so that they really have a fulfilling life after high school,” Hunning said.

Their artwork goes outside the classroom, displayed all over school. It’s also displayed beyond school grounds.

“Last year I was in a contest and got a trophy,” Kimberly said.

Chow also won.

Teachers hope the program is building confidence and independence through art that will carry over to other aspects of life.

Hunning says their goal is to compete in more competitions.

If you’d like to donate to this special needs art program at Athens Drive High School, following this link.

If you have a crowdfunding story email Sharon Tazewell .

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