Lila is a very special 6-year-old. Lila was born with a rare genetic disorder that prohibits the body from breaking down amino acids. Much of her early life involved feeding tubes, special formulas, and isolation from other children. At the age of three, she was given a liver transplant from a living donor. Because of her fragile condition, in addition to the outbreak of COVID-19, she was unable to have the social life of the average preschooler.
Although Lila’s lifestyle was very protected for her first six years, Lila was able to venture out into the “normal” world when her mother learned about the Winter Day Camp at the Newberry Arts Center on Facebook and enrolled her. Lila loves art, and she will firmly tell you she IS an artist. Drawing and painting were always Lila’s favorite, but Natalie Schnackenberg, her teacher in the camp, introduced the class to collage, a new form of art for Lila. She created a collage of cut-and-paste material based on her chosen story, Little Red Riding Hood. Her mother has shared that Lila was most proud of this work of art.
With everything she has been through, Lila tends to be anxious with many things, but with the opportunity to attend Newberry Art Center’s art camp, she was not only brave, but willing and excited. For the first time, she also made two friends during the camp. Now Lila’s social and creative life have opened up like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.
Her mother, who is also a fourth-grade teacher, said, “Lila is developing a creative mind in addition to her confidence.” She knows that students who are creative tend to stand out and perform better all around. Lila’s mother can’t wait for other opportunities for Lila to join in upcoming programs which will develop Lila’s creative mind.
Opportunities abound for children to grow through the programs offered at Newberry Arts Center thanks to your generous support for CREATE Newberry!