It was wonderful to be back in Occoquan last Friday evening among so
many old friends. The Frame Up was decorated beautifully, just
right for putting everyone in a festive mood for the holidays.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I can hardly wait until this coming
weekend when I’ll be in Libertyville, Illinois, for The Country
Pat is delighted to be back on the road, meeting friends old and
After I left Occoquan Friday evening, I drove down to Sweet Briar,
Virginia, for the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education’s
annual Creative Mind Conference. The annual conference provides
a forum where educators share ideas and information about the learning
different and integrating the arts into education techniques to better
help them learn. This year’s theme was “Diversity
Through the Arts.”
The conference was kicked off by a rap performance by students from
the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina. Their
talent, energy, and enthusiasm set the tone for a very stimulating weekend.
The opening keynote speaker was John Siskind, J.D., Director of Alternative
Education for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System, who told
us about his “Kids Who Don’t Fit” program. The
program utilizes art therapy and after-school writing, design, and production
activities to assist “at-risk” students in being able to
succeed in school.
Rap performers from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in
North Carolina set the pace for an energetic weekend at the Annual Conference
hosted by the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education
The whole weekend was filled with presentations on creative and innovative
education techniques, all utilizing the arts, and lots of hands-on activities
such as creating shape books, woodworking, dancing, and working with
clay, to name only a few! A particular highlight for me was when
Dr. John Snavely, Music Educator with Peter Howell Elementary School
in Tucson, Arizona, worked with student musicians from Ladd Elementary
School in Waynesboro to put together a performance of “The Three
Little Pigs,” using recorders and xylophones. Dr. Snavely’s
program “Opening Minds Through the Arts” has used both visual
and performing arts in elementary schools in Tucson for five years.
The school system has data to support the fact that the arts do help
children learn and increase their standard test scores.
The arts help children achieve success in school. Here Dr. John
Snavely, Music Educator with Peter Howell Elementary School in Tucson,
Arizona, shows how it is done in his performance of "The Three
Little Pigs" with students of the Ladd Elementary School, Waynesboro,
The presenters were all wonderful, and I want to thank each and every
one who attended the conference and helped make it so successful.
Next year’s conference is scheduled for October 29-31 in Ligonier,
PA, and the theme will be “The Full Spectrum of Ability.”
If you are interested in attending the conference next year, please
visit the Foundation’s website (www.mossfoundation.org)
for more information, or call Dell Philpott at the Foundation office
Until next week…