Expression Through Art – RCS Learning Center Students Share Their Moments as Children with Autism
By Claire Burgess
Dec. 18, 2017 / Natick Patch / NATICK, Mass. – The Natick Community-Senior Center is displaying art completed by students who attend Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center in Natick. The exclusive art show will be exhibited from now until January 15.
Each piece of art includes an individual profile of a RCS Learning Center student, in the “Let’s Get to Work” vocational program, “who I am, what I like, what interests me.” Giving visitors to the Natick Community-Senor Center a peek into the lives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) who attend RCS Learning Center, a school for students with ASD and other developmental disabilities. For many years the Natick Community-Senior Center has featured local artists, but this is the first time working with such a unique group, or any non-profit.
The Community-Senior Center and RCS Learning Center have a working relationship through the school’s vocational program. Older students in the RCS Learning Center program volunteer at the center and have assisted with Meals on Wheels. Vocational Director Jacqueline Adams, M.S., BCBA, LABA, said this is a wonderful opportunity for the students and RCS Learning Center to show their work in an art gallery-like setting, to share their stories with the public, for the public to learn about RCS, and to build awareness about its program.
“We are so proud of the work our students have created, and we are honored to be the featured show during the holiday season,” said Adams. “Each student has worked so hard at their jobs in the community, it is a great opportunity to highlight their accomplishments and for the public to get to know these young people and their families, who are integral parts of the community.”
The Natick Community-Senior Center sees about 300-400 visitors daily. With a theme of Holiday Giving, visitors will be encouraged to not only learn as much as they can about RCS Learning Center and the students, but they also will have an opportunity to donate to the school, which is a non-profit.
Sharon Kirby, Program and Event Coordinator at the Natick Community-Senior Center, said she’s excited for this show and is impressed with their work. “I think our visitors will really connect with the students and RCS Learning Center through their art. We hope the holiday giving theme will encourage them to donate to the school. RCS Learning Center is doing a wonderful job with these students, and we think this art show will help visitors understand about Autism a little more clearly! It also will attract new visitors to the Community Center which helps us in turn get the word out about what we do here for the community and with the senior citizens.”
Realizing Children’s Strengths (RCS) Learning Center is a leader whose mission is to provide the highest quality of individualized behavioral and educational services and researching treatments for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities. Founders Denise Rizzo-Ranieri and Louis Ranieri combined their many years of successful behavioral and educational consulting and developed the Natick school that exceeds the standards for teaching students with autism effectively through intensive, quality 1:1 interactive education through ABA services/methods. RCS Learning Center provides vocational skills training through real-world job training on site and at partner locations.
For more information about RCS Learning Center, please visit www.rcslearning.org
The Natick Community-Senior Center is open M-Wed, 8:30am-5pm; Thu 8:30am-7pm and Fri 8:30am-2:30pm