Return to Headlines

ENCORE! Students, educators deliver "From the HeART"

SILER CITY — Revisiting the iconic solo in Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” Jordan-Matthews High School student Jordan Stanley clutched an electric guitar and — pretending to play — went all in.

Northwood High School’s Joshua Cannon moved the crowd when he reprised the vocals of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”

There was more music where that came from, plus an exhibition of arts during “From the HeART,” this year’s theme for the annual arts showcase featuring some of the exceptional children in Chatham County Schools.

Jennette Horton is an instructional program facilitator in the district who provides extended learning opportunities for exceptional children. She conceptualized “From the HeART” as a way to use music and art to stimulate the neurological pathways in students who have challenges connecting with people emotionally and socially. Lifting voices in song and raising instruments to make music encourages communication in those who otherwise aren’t particularly expressive and collaborative. It’s music therapy, and that’s good for intellectual growth, Horton said.

In the hallway near the auditorium, Jordan-Matthews students were doing some face painting. Siler City Elementary School’s Maria Gonzalez Ventura showed off a bright, red heart on her cheek.

Outside under the sun, while some kids created with sidewalk chalk, there was Virginia Cross Elementary School’s Joshua Brooks having a time trying to tame soap bubbles.

Published May 17, 2019