Can dreams become reality? You betcha! Just ask Elizabeth Elliott. As the Lead Teacher for Elementary Science Enrichment, her dream was to inspire students to look closely at the nature all around them, grow into citizen scientists, and become engaged adults with an awareness of their environment.
This became a reality when she decided to do something about it.
HOW DID SHE DO IT?
Ms. Elliott did some research and discovered that The Community Foundation and the EEC, were offering grants to increase community awareness and involvement with the environment. Just what was needed!
She applied for the small grant to finance her project which would empower five schools in her district to receive a program to teach students environmental awareness, drawing from life, and citizen science through bird watching. The Community Foundation gladly awarded it, knowing that students will become enriched through observing and drawing birds and nature, which would propel them to investigate involvement in their environment.
IS IT FOR THE BIRDS? ABSOLUTELY!
The project, called, “Fontana is for the Birds” will bring art and science together as Emmy Award winning artist Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, founder of EDU DESIGNS shares her skills in Life drawing. This will add to the training students and teachers will receive in bird identification, data collection and interpretation.
Each school will be given a birding backpack for their library containing: two pair of binoculars, a pencil pouch, colored pencils with sharpener, a birding book, a bird quick guide, and a bird observation journal. Students will be able to check out the backpack in order to bird-watch with their families and record their observations. The student’s observations can then be recorded into a program like eBird or Celebrate Urban Birds to facilitate a citizen science project!
DREAMS PLUS ACTION MAKE IT HAPPEN
Over 2,000 students and their families will be given the opportunity to continue their observations outside of the school grounds by checking out the backpack. Plus, 90 Teachers in the 5 schools will be provided with extension lessons for their classrooms in how to integrate nature observation into their ELA, Math, Science and Art instruction.
This program encourages young people to become more observant of their natural surroundings while becoming more involved in a positive way. By raising awareness of the need to interact consciously with the environment, we will all benefit in the long run.
Have a dream? Add action, and it can become reality. It certainly does for Lisa Elliott!
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#f5fadd” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]As Nelson Mandela said, “Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world.”[/dropshadowbox]
Are you sad seeing kids constantly glued to electronic devices?
Do you want them to have ‘Imagination time’?
Do you worry they won’t develop real life skills?
Take advantage of the resources we have available!
Someday they will thank you for turning off the ‘TV’ and allowing them to engage their minds and hearts with hands-on activities.
You will enjoy more peace of mind as you see your children develop problem solving skills, too.
Art is one of the BEST ways to motivate and inspire us at ANY age. While I was working in Animation, I found drawing to be calming and therapeutic. While my hands were busy, my mind was free, going deeper into understanding myself and the things that were troubling me. The insights that came were life changing. Along with finding solutions to problems, it was like meditation, but easier to do for someone like myself who has trouble sitting still. I guess I’m still like a kid that way! I believe children can have this type of experience when given the chance to draw. And slow down! Art is not just good for eye-hand coordination. It’s good for mind-heart coordination, too! The positive benefits will help the REST of us when the KIDS today become the ADULTS in charge.
Plus, I feel so strongly about helping kids, I put everything I learned in over 30 years in my Art Textbook, so it won’t take YOU 30 years to learn!
Plus – articles that pack a message:
Free Illustrated Behavior Charts for kids 2yrs and up
Free Parenting Tips For kids of all ages:
VIDEOS and more!
PS – If you believe in our mission, join our mission to nurture the little ones with high ideals of good character. Please support us.
We need you!
NEED TO INCORPORATE ART IN YOUR CURRICULUM?
WANT TO DRAW LIKE AN EXPERT?
Sign up to download free sample lessons!
WITH 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN ART, RUTH WILL GUIDE YOU, STEP BY STEP, TO
“SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!”
THIS IS THE BOOK YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR!
Don’t worry about going back to school to learn to draw –
No need to. The answers are here, in this ONE BOOK!
Emmy Award winning author and illustrator Ruth Elliott worked at studios such as Disney, Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera, on shows such as The Tigger Movie, Space Jam, The Smurfs, The Simpsons, The Jetsons – and more.
She’s distilled what she knows into simple language that anyone can understand.
With step-by-step lessons that build on each previous one, you’ll discover a new skill:
SEEING what you’re LOOKING at!
The 90+ pages include tips all the way from how to hold your pencil in the beginning – to life drawing, cartooning, storytelling and animation.
Did you know the average cost of college is more than $20,000 per YEAR?
What if you could get a 30-year education for a lot less than that?
And the GOOD NEWS is: It won’t take you 30 years to learn!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY TO HELP A CHILD’S BRAIN AND HEART
IT WILL GET them THINKING.
And CARING about the world around them.
The character values of compassion and persistence are imparted throughout the book, with anecdotes from the true story of Roscoe the squirrel Ruth rescued as a baby. How wonderful to enjoy a good story while you learn!
When she heard that children involved in the arts improved their math scores by up to 15%, Ruth worked relentlessly, taking years perfecting the system that could teach the brain and hand to work together.
Using the techniques in this book can increase awareness and improve manual dexterity.
GET THE Printed Version
of SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT
with free shipping (U.S.A.)
During the pandemic we are offering a special discount to ALL.
Click the button below to get the 60% OFF
Allow 1-2 weeks for delivery of the printed version. TEACHERS please contact me for bulk prices.
Sign up to download free sample lessons:
Every purchase or donation helps us reach more kids with educational materials that help their character grow!
Children with special educational needs (SEN) require a different approach to learning to help them cope with the tasks of everyday life. Targeted therapies can help them to learn basic skills such as thought processing, organization, memory, and paying attention.
Music and art have several perceived benefits to children. They are sources of entertainment and can lengthen a child’s attention span, help them concentrate, teach them to focus, and improve communication abilities.
By drawing, a child can express his/her feelings and emotions. Where it is not possible for speech to take place, art and music can act as a substitute for words in order to make a point or statement.
Music and art are not only useful as recreation, but also as a means to enhance learning among children with special educational needs. Autism, for instance, is a developmental disability whose symptoms include various degrees of language and communication delays and difficulties in socializing.
Statistics indicate that 1 out of 110 American kids is affected with autism and the rate is increasing at 10-17% per year. Autistic children basically live in their own world and struggle with daily life.
Music therapy, listening to and learning to play instruments and singing, helps them to build self-confidence. Drawing, painting or sketching, also enhances motor skills and coordination. These things all lead to improved social contacts.
Practical Activities to Expose SEN Children to Music and Art
To make use of art and music therapy for kids with special needs, here are some suggestions for activities:
Musical Themed Parties
Musical themed parties are great at encouraging children to learn something new. Sharing fun music prompts children to move and sing, making use of their vocal chords and physical rhythms. If you can, hire professional entertainers who have experience with SEN kids.
Going to concerts, live events and festivals, is another way to introduce music to kids with special educational needs. They will learn about the variety of music that is available and benefit from its therapeutic effects. Author of ‘Musicophilia’ Oliver Sacks, M.D., believes in the power of music and its healing effects on the brain. He documented the positive effects of music in Parkinson’s patients and autistic children.
Art Galleries and Museums
Visiting museums also helps handicapped children in many ways. Works of art encourage visual perception. Exposure to various styles, colors, subjects, is educational to everyone, handicapped or otherwise. Talk to your children, ask them what they like. Tell them to draw what they have just seen.
Art and Music Workshops
Organize, or sign up for, art, music or dance lessons. Dancing is a great option for kids with autism or sensory perception disorder. Expressing themselves through dancing not only creates movement but also body awareness. Social interaction is also enhanced, giving them self-confidence. Whether it is through creating music, moving in a dance, or making art, these activities are all forms of creative expression. Be sure to look for programs and classes that have experienced special-needs instructors.
When visiting museums or other studios, make sure to plan visits in advance, note the layout of the place and take advantage of resources such as maps, narrative guides, tours and the like. Remember, every child is unique, so you might consider headphones for those who have anxiety or who require quiet spaces.
Welcome to our home
We knew we wanted children and made the decision to adopt. When we started the process it was so exciting to think that we would be able to offer them a place in our home . . . to become part of our family!
Both of our children arrived from Central America at 5 ½ months old.
I was always a little sensitive to their health issues, however, since we had no genetic background on either one of them.
About 1 ½ years before our son was to finish college he fell ill. It seemed one thing or another. I talked to him daily and encouraged him to see the medical staff at college. He continued to plug along so I thought it was just the long nights of studying and not eating properly that contributed to his exhaustion.
Then 3 weeks before he was to finish college he wanted to throw in the towel and just quit and come home. It broke my heart, but I encouraged him to stay since he was so close to being done. We had a long phone conversation and the next day he called me.
“Mom, I thought about it and I am not a quitter. I’m going to do whatever it takes to finish the last weeks I have left.”
It was a sigh of relief. I talked to him a couple of times a day just to check up on his mental and physical state. He made it to the finish line and came home. I couldn’t be more proud of him.
When he finally arrived home we thought his dream job of becoming an animator was just around the corner. January 2015 we went to the Dr. and he was put on a 6 month prescription for a dermatological condition that had developed. Because of it he had to stay close to the Dr. here and could not really venture out of the area. I told him it was ok, that after the 6 months were over he could continue to find his dream job.
However, in June 2015, he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer. His words were “Life is not fair to me”. Our hearts melted and we knew that we had to be strong for him.
The first surgery was performed days after the diagnosis and then it was a choice between Chemo Therapy and RPLND surgery. We did discuss this but knew that it was his body, his life and that he had to make the final decision. He elected surgery and we backed him 100%. August 2015 it was performed, and in recovery is now getting stronger every day. His team of Doctors at the cancer center gave him a good prognosis. With active surveillance he will get blood work every 3 months and a yearly CT scan.
I am so thankful that after all he has been through his passion for art and animation is stronger today than it has been in a long time. His words now are: “Mom I have been sick, been told I have cancer, had 2 surgeries, now it’s time to move ahead in life and prove that whoever hires me will be glad they did”.
I reflect on what I have always told my children since they were little:
“Follow your dream in life – in your dream is your strength”
“Don’t compare yourself to others, you are your own person, stay grounded, stay rooted and always try to always find a positive in everyday”
“Don’t let negative things that happened in the past control how you navigate through your future”
NOTE from Ruth: I am so grateful for the love and support Betty has given her son, physically and emotionally. By encouraging him to follow his dream he will be a blessing to many. He has already blessed others us by generously sharing his talents in our animated short, SOMEBODY NEEDS YOU. See a preview of the film he helped to bring to life here:
Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.
While searching for a pop up card to make for my grandson, I found so many great ideas that I couldn’t decide which one to make!
But one of the best ideas I discovered was in this awesome video from creative artist, Maybelline Chow. (Check out her blog at: www.maybeitsmaybe.blogspot.com)
THANK YOU for sharing your awesome talent, Maybelline!
And here’s a shorter video, just 35 seconds long!
I wanted to make one of these, too, but when I couldn’t find a template, I studied the video and made my own in Photoshop. You can print it out to make 4 cards on one 8 1/2 X11 page of card stock. Here’s the template:
Drag the image to your desktop (or go to this link if that doesn’t work:
http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/never-ending-card-base-low-res2.jpg and right click to ‘save as’ to your computer.
The RED lines show where to CUT. The GREY DOTTED lines show where to FOLD.
Here are the steps I followed after printing out the page:
NOTE: Watch Maybelline Chow’s video carefully all the way to the end. Study how the same motion is repeated each time, so you can remember it.
1- Cut the page with scissors along the solid vertical and horizontal red lines to make four cards.
2- Carefully cut the 2 lines that look like a Red X in the center of the card. I used an exact-o knife and a straight edge, over a self-healing cutting matt. (WARNING: BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL. Using an Exact-o knife, or box knife, can be very dangerous if you are not accustomed to it. If you are a child, do not attempt this without adult supervision.)
3- Once the X is cut in the center of the card, SCORE only the GREY dotted lines to make them easier to bend.
4- Holding the card in the air, bend the top section towards you, allowing the pointy part under it to swing up behind it so it does NOT get bent too. Do this for each of the sides, as is shown in the pictures below.
Once you’ve gotten the creases in the right place, begin by drawing your first face in the OPEN position. Observe where Maybelline put the different parts of the face in the video, so they could be covered up by the next flaps! Experiment using light pencil to get them in the right places, then fold the next part down and keep adding sections of the next face you decide on. When you are happy with the different faces on each side, you can go over them with ink, markers, or any thing you like!
Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.
All kids LOVE music!
We’ve been adding Music to enrich our Art Presentations.
There's nothing like Music to brighten your day and activate brain cells.
At a recent Fair at Cobb School Jas and Ruth Hilsdon performed for 3 hours. The joy and energy from sharing music with the kids was infectious. Here's a VERY short video from that day.
A BIG THANK YOU to Mark and Jas Hilsdon for investing their talents in children.
Mark and Jas Hilsdon have a special place in their hearts for kids with Special Needs.
Their sister, Diane, was born with a hole in her heart and Down Syndrome. The doctor's told their mom and dad she wouldn't survive, so just "leave her at the hospital and we'll take care of it".
But their parents refused, and brought her home, and she lived to be 53!
Diane LOVED music, too.
Jas Hilsdon wrote a song for her you can hear at this link
You can even hear a tiny bit of her singing in the very beginning of the song!
More of Jas Hilsdon's songs: JasHilson.com.
Read another article about our school visits to Kids with Special Needs here: http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/edu-designs-progress-report/
THANKS to ERIC ANSAH, the director, and others from the Reward Foundation Ghana, this Non Profit Org is helping kids expand their opportunities through Art, Music, and other cultural and educational activities in Ghana.
EDU DESIGNS founder, Ruth Elliott, donated the use of her Art Textbook, SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT to help kids! They need your help, too! Contact Eric at: email@example.com
SEE OUR LAST ARTICLE ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING HERE: http://www.edudesigns.org/blog/school-kids-in-ghana-are-using-our-art-book/
Please check out their new website, too.
All of us are very proud to be a partner in their great work.
I hope you’ll be inspired to help them too!
Volunteer opportunities are listed on this page:
Contact Eric at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I felt a creative ache inside of me for years. I wanted to write a children’s book. I had an idea, I had the talent. But with seven kids, and laundry my constant companion, I felt constantly discouraged.
“When will I ever get a chance to write?”
Then came the year my 11 year old daughter Lisa had to choose an author to research for 6th grade. She picked Harriet Beecher Stowe*. And what a lot I learned from Lisa’s report.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, like me, had seven children. Unlike me, she had NO running water, and NO washing machine! And yet, she still managed to write over 30 books, including ‘UNCLE TOM’S CABIN’. Without a typewriter or computer.
Then it hit me.
“What’s MY excuse? If she can write a book, I can too!”
And that’s when I started work on my first children’s book:
THE RICHEST KID IN THE POOR HOUSE. In the story, a boy is disappointed with his family until he gets a hamster who doesn’t appreciate him. By the end of the story he learns a lesson that changes his attitude from Greed to Gratitude.
Read more by clicking on the picture of the book.
There are only a few copies left, so if you’d like one, order it before they’re gone.
Stories can inspire us to overcome our obstacles.
Maybe someone needs to hear YOUR story.
Thank you for struggling,
Since we are an all volunteer organization, we get no salary. 100% of your donation is Tax Deductible, and is used to create media for children’s character. Please help! When you do, you’ll receive a free download of Ruth’s Art Textbook for Kids!
When I hear the words, ‘MILK TRUCK’, three uncanny stories come to mind. Absolutely true. Two are from my own life. Take the next ‘step beyond’ to see what happened.
Milk Man in Houston, Texas Saves a 7 year old Girl
One day at the ripe age of 7 years old, I got out of school an hour earlier than my brother and sister, and walked home to an empty house. I went to my neighbor’s, hoping to play with them, but they weren’t home, either. Thank goodness their swingset welcomed me, remembering how they had always told me I could use it, “…any time”.
Having just seen the movie, Trapeze, with Burt Lancaster, I figured this was my big chance to practice what I had seen him do. Sitting on the trapeze bar I’d get a good swing going, then hang by my knees and then slip down with my ankles wrapped around the chain so I could hang swinging by my feet. I was getting pretty good at it, when I got tired. Normally I would just drop to the ground onto my hands and knees. However, this day I was wearing sandals, not my usual sneakers, and as I tried to get off the trapeze bar, the strap of my right shoe caught the bottom loop of the chain, and I was stuck – hanging upside down by one foot!
Terrified, the sudden realization hit me: I was alone. Who could help me?
Without my siblings or neighbors, I yelled and cryed out to God or anyone who would listen, hoping someone would find me.
Within minutes, someone did. A Milkman driving by saw me!
He helped me down, and as I was thanking him profusely, my brother ran up to me, sweating from head to toe, huffing and puffing, “I was two blocks away… when all of a sudden I saw a picture of you… like on a TV set… in front of my eyes! You were hanging upside down from the swings, screaming!”
I couldn’t believe it! My brother Mike and the Milkman had each unknowingly ‘heard’ my prayer.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Milk Man in NYC Saves a Lady from Bleeding to Death
The second time a milkman came to the rescue was years later when I moved with my pregant sister into in a 4th floor walk-up apartment in New York City. We had no electricity and no telephone. One night, she suddenly started miscarrying and hemorrhaging profusely.
“Oh, God!” I thought. “What should I do?” The neighbors across the hall were gone, and I had no way of getting her to the hospital.
In a panic, I flew down the four flights of stairs to the street, waving frantically to cars going by, but no one would stop. In desperation, I went out into the street and yelled to the next vehicle I saw, a Milk truck! I told the driver in tears that my sister was bleeding to death and needed a ride to the hospital, a couple of miles up the street. He got right out and rushed to help her into to his truck, and took her to the hospital in time – and she lived!
I never knew his name, or saw him again to thank him in person, but I can’t count the many times I thanked him in my heart. I know God answered my prayer through him that night.
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Milk Man in Bristol England Feeds 300 Orphans
In the early 1800’s, an orphanage ran out of food. They had nothing to feed the 300 children under George Müller’s care*. It was time for breakfast, and the children were hungry, so he told everyone to sit down, fold their hands and pray, thanking God for what He would provide.
Soon there was a knock at the door.
It was a Baker, who said that God had woken him up at 3 in the morning telling him to quickly bake bread for the orphanage. Could they use it?
Why, YES, they could!
Shortly after that came another knock at the door.
A Milkman’s cart had broken down right in front of the orphanage – and without refrigeration the milk would spoil before he could fix the wheel. Would they please take the milk?
Why, YES, they would!
That morning, a Milk man and a Baker had unknowingly been the vehicles to answer the prayers of those children. Each with different gifts he was given. One Bread, one Milk. But both with the ‘Milk of Human Kindness’.
Whatever your image of a Creator, God or Heavenly Father, no one can deny that, the ‘Milk of Divine Kindness’ is active in our lives, listening and answering when we cry out. You never know when you may be called upon to deliver some of that ‘Milk’, too!
EDU DESIGNS creates media for the heart and mind of children. Since we are an all volunteer non profit, we don’t get paid for what we do. But the rewards! The rewards are “Out of This World!”.
Any funds donated are used to create and distribute materials to improve children’s character and education through the Arts.
You can see a bit of what we do here:
– EDU DESIGNS is bringing Art back into the schools, providing materials for children’s character development and education through: http://www.edudesigns.org/
– Free Parenting Tips and Illustrated Behavior Charts through GoMommyGO. We are listed as a Resource on Autism Speaks for children with special needs: http://www.gomommygo.com/
My earthly dad used to say that folks accused him of being a generous man. But he would say, “Oh NO! I’m NOT generous at all – you see, it makes me FEEL so GOOD to give, I feel like I’m being VERY selfish!”
I’d like to share something with you today. The download of my Artbook for kids, called, “SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT!” normally sells for $9.99, but I’d like to give a copy to anyone making a donation of any size. After you donate through the button below you’ll get your free download!
© Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon
EMAIL me if you have any questions: email@example.com
I heard a story once about an experiment with two mice to see how long they could swim in a bucket of water…
When the first mouse was put in the bucket he drowned after just a few minutes.
When they put the second mouse in the water they saw him start to flounder around the same time the first one had. But this time they reached down and lifted him up out of the bucket for a second – just long enough to let him see over the bucket – and then returned him to the water again. He swam for almost a half hour more before he finally lost strength.
It seems cruel to even think of doing an experiment like that.
I do hope they let him live.
But the message that came out of it was clear:
The second mouse, that was LIFTED up, was given a moment of HOPE, where he was able to see ABOVE the bucket, and that made all the difference.
We MUST have something better to look forward to, or WE WILL sink.
Do you remember how much fun it was to do art and music in school when YOU were a kid? New pathways were growing in your brain as your imagination was stimulated!
Due to budget cuts today, many children in schools don’t get that chance to do art anymore, despite clear proof that the arts improve cognitive development – and make an impact FAR greater than having a picture to put on your refrigerator door.
Here a wiggly group of PreSchoolers gets to learn about Art AND Music!
Lifting people up – ‘above the bucket’ is something EDU DESIGNS does with tools to Improve children’s character through the arts and stories.
GoMommyGO© (part of EDU DESIGNS) gives practical tools and HOPE to parents struggling with the awesome responsibility of shaping their child’s life in their most vulnerable years.
Have you heard the saying, “THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, RULES the WORLD”? We really DO have the power to influence the next generation to be better human beings. It is idealistic. And being a parent can bring out the best in us. But when you ARE a parent, you know that raising children can bring out the worst in YOU at times, too. WE NEED HELP!
Notice the word ‘STRUGGLE‘?
Raising my own seven children proved to me how much structure and support children need to be able to develop to their best ability, and how much I needed to learn. When I first created my behavior charts it gave me the structure I needed not to yell and scream at my kids. And when it DID work so well I thought, “Why isn’t someone doing this for all the mom’s out there who can’t draw?”
Nobody can do it alone. We all need each other.
If we struggle together it will lighten the load for all of us.
Imagine This: If just ONE person was made happier today because of something YOU did, and and if each person helped ONE OTHER person, everybody would touch EVERYONE’S life eventually. So don’t give up.Do your best. Don’t worry about the rest. “Everything comes out in the wash”, as my mom used to say…
So much has been happening I haven’t had time to let you know – from the art classes for kids with Special needs (see pic below) and many schools locally to the outreach to other countries (even Ghana and India) who are benefiting from our materials thanks to those who have found us via the internet. I’ll be in Connecticut and reaching out to schools and organizations there as well. This map shows just a few of the places we are reaching. The reaction from grateful teachers and parents is like bringing water to thirsty travelers along a lonely desert road. There’s so much need for what you and I are doing!
Please continue your support and tell others – I know they will thank you.
Everyone benefits from what we do.
If you know a parent – tell them about GoMommyGO®.
If you know a teacher or student, tell them about EDU DESIGNS.
Kids and Parents need all the help they can get.
I know you care about investing in CHARACTER as well as INTELLIGENCE. You want to give children more of what really matters. SO DOES CHRIS ZURBUCH!
Chris Zurbuch is not only a phenomenal RUNNER – he runs for a good cause: To help children achieve their goals and become productive citizens in society.
The Nanny Goat Race in Riverside, CA, raises funds for Charity each year. On Saturday May 25th 2013 Chris ran in the 100 mile race to help raise money for EDU DESIGNS, our non profit that creates and distributes media for the education, motivation and character development of children.
A devoted husband to his beautiful wife Messina and proud Dad of three wonderful children, 11, 9 and 18 months, Chris explained why he chose to run the 100 Mile race to fundraise for EDU DESIGNS:
“I feel it is very important for our youth of today to have some sort of Creative arts and Books in all forms which are crucial to shaping Children’s enrichment in their overall education. EDU is a wonderful non-profit organization that does just that for many less fortunate children. Every little bit helps to create a positive culture of growth and learning so these children can have some of the same opportunities as others to utilize their talents specifically in the arts…I have wanted to use my love of running into helping kids gain additional resources whether, food, housing or in this case, education.”
Chris Zurbuch helped CHILDREN by RUNNING for EDU DESIGNS. And you can help too! No running required. You can keep up the good work he started by helping us get our educational materials to children who need it. For a limited time, donate any amount & get a FREE Download of my Art Book, too! Such a deal. The Instant download is normally $9.99, but until May 31st it’s free to everyone who makes a donation of ANY amount. Emmy Award Winning Animation Artist Ruth Elliott’s Art Book increases creativity, spatial reasoning, cognitive development and references the CA Math Standards. Read more here…
Each donation allows us to provide our materials to schools that need them, along with tools for better behavior. Can you help?
“The need for what you’re offering is growing stronger by the day, the schools are in crisis, seemingly everywhere… Bless you guys for what you’re doing.” ~ Justin
Please donate – we need your help to reach children who need the arts and tools for character development.
Kids in Ghana struggle to advance their skills without the proper tools.
Thanks to the hardworking and dedicated staff of The Reward Foundation Ghana, a Non Profit, led by Project Manager Eric Ansah, children in the deprived areas of Ghana are now being benefited.
The Reward Foundation Ghana is committed to Youth development, Cultural Exchange Programs and other activities for children of all ages.
EDU DESIGNS was pleased to be able to provide our materials, plus a projector and DVD player to enable them to reach more children as they reach out to different areas.
Your support is needed! If you wish to help this worthwhile organization, please contact Eric directly at:
Eric Ansah <firstname.lastname@example.org>
SEE THE UPDATE ON THEIR NEW WEBSITE HERE:
I am very proud to be listed as a partner in their great work.
I hope you’ll be inspired to help them too!
Volunteer opportunities are listed on this page:
When my son Jon was 11 years old he wrote a letter to Mr. T after seeing ‘The A Team’ on TV. Mr. T wrote him back a long personal letter, telling him to study hard in school, stay away from drugs and alcohol, take good care of his body and trust in the Lord!
I was so impressed with his kindness and generosity to take the time to write him! Somewhere in the recesses of our garage I still have that letter.
Years later in 2003 I was working at Cartoon Network and got to meet Mr. T. personally. I thanked him and told him how much his letter had meant to my son, who had taken it to heart at a time when he was receptive.
As soon as Mr. T. heard I had 7 kids he couldn’t stop telling me all about his mother who had 12 kids! He was thrilled to share with me how she kept him on the right track by consistently being a source of encouragement, wisdom and strict discipline to all of them.
Such enthusiasm and energy! He went on to share how he was so happy to be alive after overcoming cancer, and proud he had gotten his hair back. He kept pointing to the top of his head and rubbing his hair, saying, “Look at that hair!” You can read more about the amazing struggles Mr. T had to overcome here.
I was so happy I got to meet him. What an inspiration he is, and proof again of the powerful impact a mother can have on her children.
I made this little sketch of how I managed to get through it all when my kids were little…
How can we teach our children to find happiness?
…and learn to be content?
The simple answer is: By OUR example
- Be in the present…
- Be joyful.
Need to get your kids to help you? Check out my free Illustrated Behavior Charts, so they can share in the ‘Family Service’, too!
How wonderful! Just rediscovered! Can’t believe it took me this long to share it!
Back in 2010 Shirley Smith’s TV Show, “Talk About Parenting, LIVE” welcomed me to talk about EDU Designs and GoMommyGO. Though it aired a while back it has a lot to say about what we are doing to help kids!Visit EDU Designs website: http://www.edudesigns.org/ & GOMommyGo’s Website: http://www.gomommygo.com/ & Shirlee Smith’s website: http://www.talkaboutparenting.org/
Thank you Shirlee for your great contribution to the ‘ART’ of Parenting!
PS – Discover some other gems here, too! http://www.edudesigns.org/news_on_Character.html
What is ’emotional connectedness’? And how does it help our brain power?
In Dr. Gabor Mate’s book, SCATTERED (How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What you can Do About It), he reveals how children engaged in an activity that includes emotional connectedness display higher levels of activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, where self regulation and intellectual ability develop.
This means they will develop better concentration and self control!
In simple terms, when our emotions are engaged and recognized by another, we feel connected and can absorb information faster.
Art has a magical way of helping us relax and feel our emotions.
That’s exactly what happens at my Art Presentations! The children have a wonderful time drawing and participating – and learning! Recently, some teachers came up to me and remarked that they had never seen their students so FOCUSED and ENGAGED.
The ability to ‘focus and become engaged’ in an activity is the opposite of Attentional Deficit Disorder.
Dr. Mate says:
[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#f2f9f9″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]“…many children with ADD are capable of focused work in the presence of an adult who is keeping them company and paying attention to them… attachment promotes attention, anxiety undermines it. When the child is not concerned with seeking emotional contact, his prefrontal cortex is freed to allocate attention to the task at hand… The warmth and satisfaction of positive contact with the adult is often just as good as a psychostimulant in supplying the child’s prefrontal cortex with dopamine. Greater security means less anxiety and more focused attention… Where this need is satisfied, ADD problems begin to recede.”[/dropshadowbox]
This is something I have instinctively felt for years, that children need engagement from others in a positive emotional context. Seeing it in action, and getting confirmation from the teachers was tremendous!
It’s nice to know we’ve been on the right track all along.
I want all children to develop better self control and focus, as they increase their intellectual ability. I feel so strongly about it that I created an art book that includes everything I learned in 30 years – and it won’t take you 30 years to learn it! Share it with a teacher or child you know!
Did you know that our non profit helps build character in many ways? Our Art presentations inspire not only the children and their parents but the teachers who are empowered to bring art (and joy) back into the classroom.
Thanks to your support, we are able to do this.
I’m so grateful for any help.
Kids NEED Art! When it’s added to their Educational ‘Diet’, EVERYONE WINS!
In the report of the National Council on the Arts 3/30/2012, Dr. James Catterall presented conclusive evidence that “High arts kids considerably outperform Low arts kids” in every area.” His work revealed why students engaged in the arts do better academically, linking art and cognitive development and leading to pro-social behavior later on in life. “Why?” to paraphrase Dr. Catterall,
“Doing art is solving problems, is stimulating, and helps brain function in a variety of ways… It helps spatial reasoning, cognitive development, engagement and motivation…which also adds to social and cultural engagement in school.”
(More info at Dr. Catteral’s Centers for Research on Creativity)
Since the removal of the Arts from low income schools, children in the U.S. have fallen behind in math and critical thinking skills. People say that “children are our future” – yet few know what to do. That’s why EDU DESIGNS is determined to lend a hand in a practical way. Donating EDU DESIGNS Art presentations to schools, plus our character building books, (including SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING AT, the first Art Textbook to reference the Core Standards) allows Art to once again be back in the classroom where it belongs, inspiring kids to learn and increasing their creativity.
(Note: Find out more about the book, HERE.)
His report clearly confirms earlier findings which reveal:
“More and more emphasis has been placed upon performance in the standards testing process today. Unfortunately this has created an atmosphere of greater stress – on the student as well as the teacher. Ironically, it is a well-known fact that Stress inhibits learning . Fortunately, Art is a stress reliever , utilizing the parts of the brain that increase memory and higher thought.  With this in mind, ART employs a hands-on approach to logical reasoning, using relevant objects in our environment to connect us to the need for mathematical and spatial understanding. This book is unique in correlating concepts of ART and MATH. By developing creative and critical thinking skills, children gain confidence in their problem-solving skills. “ Students with high levels of arts participation out perform “arts-poor” students on virtually every measure. 
Music may help children with “behavior problems”, too, acording to Claudia M. Gold, MD, writing in Psychology Today. Quoting Berklee’s Music Therapy Department Chair Dr. Suzanne Hanser, about a program fo music therapy for autism spectrum disorders, she shares:
“There is scientific evidence that music therapy influences children on the autism spectrum in several ways, like enhancing skills in communication, interpersonal relationships, self-regulation, coping strategies, stress management, and focusing attention,” and “… children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders are often overwhelmed by sensory input. It makes perfect sense to me that music would help them to organize their experience and engage with the world around them.”
The ARTS help EVERYONE develop! Learning takes place best when the spatial areas of the brain are awakened, which is why children engaged in art have been shown to improve their math scores by up to 15%! Since research clearly shows that studying art actually increases one’s ability to learn, EDU DESIGNS created the first Art Textbook that references the California Math Standards. Through our experience in Art and expertise in education, we have created a program that develops analytical skills and builds character.
The MISSION of EDU DESIGNS
As our mission declares, “EDU DESIGNS is dedicated to produce and distribute multimedia materials for the education, motivation and character development of children”. Our all volunteer Board of Directors has invested time and energy to create program substance that will inspire children to be positive members of society. When we visit schools, we experience an enthusiastic response from appreciative parents and teachers who applaud our efforts to provide educational materials that teach virtue and integrity.
EDU DESIGNS offers ART and storytelling presentations to schools (limited to Southern California at this time) and donate materials that can be used in the regular or afterschool programs to schools upon request. Since Edu Designs is run entirely by volunteers, 100% of contributions are used to reach students who would otherwise miss out on the programs we present! We acknowledge each donation with a receipt for tax purposes.
The founders of EDU DESIGNS have been active in program development with an emphasis on character, compassion and arts education since 1999. EDU DESIGNS gives children opportunities to engage their analytical skills, develop their creativity, and motivate them to make a positive impact in the world now. We are determined to to bridge the gap during this time of economic hardship for the schools.
As a Registered Trademark of EDU Designs, GoMommyGO® also helps provide tools for parents to aid character development children. Providing illustrated behavior charts and over 90 images free of charge, GoMommyGO® is a resource listed on Autism Now.
Never miss an opportunity to do a good deed!
There are many character lessons we inspire children to learn. Each person’s life impacts others, for good or ill. Every child we reach today, will bring a change for the better – and YOU can help make it happen! Please Donate, NOW:
 Researcher Paul MacLean, chief brain researcher at the National Institute for Mental Health. Plus, David Sousa, author of How the Brain Learns: A Classroom Teacher’s Guide and Learning Manual
 Professor Terry Looker and Dr. Olga Gregson, of the Department of Biological Sciences at MMU.
 In the 1999 article: Linking Brain Research to Art, Perry & Janet Rettig indicated, (quoting Goleman, 1995), that “students are more likely to recall information when it is embedded in an emotional context.
 (from the research by The Imagination Project at UCLA, by James S. Catterall, Richard Chapleau and John Iwanaga, July 1999). “…gains for arts-involved youngsters …become more pronounced over time…this pattern also holds for children from low-income and low parent education level homes.” Plus in Nicholas Bezruczko’s Study, “Links Between Children’s Clay Models and School Achievement” (1997), Art trained groups had 15% higher reading and math scores on standardized tests than did students without arts education.
 • The arts have a measurable impact on students in “high-poverty” and urban settings.
• The arts in after-school programs guide disadvantaged youth toward positive behaviors and goals.
• Learning through the arts has significant effects on learning in other domains.
• Arts experiences enhance “critical thinking” abilities and outcomes.
• The arts enable educators to reach students in effective ways.
Taken from Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning and Gaining the Arts Advantage: Lessons From School Districts That Value Arts Education provide arts education supporters with both evidence of why the arts are critical to teaching and learning…
Both studies were developed with the support of the GE Fund and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Arts Education Partnership, and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.