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Mitchell Elementary 2nd Grader, Graham Peakin is named Student of the Month by Arts4All Florida

February 09, 2019 - Student Success

At Mitchell Elementary, second grader Graham Peakin received a special surprise. His art teacher, Laura Hobby nominated Graham to be Arts4All Florida’s student of the month, an award in which only two students a month are selected from schools throughout the state.

“The Award was designed to recognized the accomplishments of special needs children, and Arts4All—one of the most important things we do is honor these children’s accomplishments in the arts, this is a state call to teachers and administrators to nominate a student they feel is worth to be Student of the Month,” said program coordinator, Patricia Fosnaught.

Graham was chosen for the month of January. The award made Graham extremely happy and proud. Ms. Hobby says Graham is a hero in the classroom, and she has seen first-hand how the arts have transformed Graham, who is on the autism spectrum.

Graham attends inclusion-based classes throughout the week and an ESE art class once a week. While in class, Graham demonstrates exemplary leadership skills, welcomes everyone into class when they arrive and wants to wait on everyone, especially with slower classmates who struggle with motor skills. He is everyone's biggest cheerleader, he passes out art supplies and offers to help his peers when they need something.

The arts are very important to Graham’s social, emotional and academic success, he takes piano lessons, he’s a yellow belt in martial arts and loves to help his team win during his soccer games. By participating in the arts, students like Graham develop creativity, improve their self-confidence, understand teamwork, become more engaged in the classroom and improve their language arts and math skills.

Graham received a handmade, personalized trophy- a piece of art to symbolize that Art4All Florida recognizes the impact the arts makes on children with disabilities.

Congratulations Graham and thank you Arts4All!!

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