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Dear Friends:

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 Framer’s show.

Pat is delighted to be back on the road, meeting friends old and new.

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, VA.

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 ( for more information, or call Dell Philpott at the Foundation office at 540-943-5678.

Until next week…



The Moss Portfolio
74 Poplar Grove Lane
Mathews, VA 23109
(800) 430-1320
©P. Buckley Moss 2004


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