SPECIAL FEATURESThe Hilda M. Willis Creative Arts Series
The arts have always been a significant part of the array of exciting experiences made available at the School, to both entertain and educate the students. With a generous grant from the Hilda M. Willis Foundation, the first season of the Creative Arts Series took place in 1993. The purpose of the project is to continue to promote the creative arts as an integral and important part of the School program. Since its inception, the Series has brought fine, applied and performing arts to the students to enrich their daily lives.What distinguishes the Hilda M. Willis Creative Arts Series from typical art performances in schools is the invitation to performers and artists to adapt their work and make it interactive, whenever possible, allowing students with severe and multiple disabilities to more fully participate in the events. Whether inviting students to sing along, clap or use percussion instruments, performers not only bring the arts to life for students at the School, but often experience their own art form anew in the process.Performances are open to all Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children students. For more information, contact Barb Cunningham at 412-621-0100 (ext. 225) or view a list of our performances here.Interactions with Non-Disabled Peers
The School program provides numerous opportunities for our students to interact with non-disabled peers through partnerships known as LINK. Non-disabled young people are invited to our campus to participate in various events and our students may join them for off-campus field trips and outings. LINK promotes same-age social relationships and the development of mutual respect between disabled and more typical young people.
Our preschool students enjoy ongoing interactions with non-disabled youngsters who attend the School’s on-site childcare program "A Child's VIEW: Vision in Extraordinary Ways", which is located on the third floor of the Janet Simon Building.Children attending the childcare program are paired with students in the preschool program for specially designed lessons. Referred to as the “Blending Program,” ACV teachers work collaboratively with School staff to design and implement activities that are educational for all children.