At the Makers Faire, students walked through rows of tables and booths showcasing various projects presented by fellow classmates. There were scientific demonstrations and art displays, but one of the highlights of the Middle School Makers Faire was a large walk-through planetarium that students could crawl into and explore the constellations. It was made of large construction tarp and using a flashlight, students could walk around inside and look up at the solar system glowing from the fluorescent paint.
The planetarium had a line of students waiting to take a look, and was definitely a big hit! This project was special not only because of its ingenuity, but because it was the brainchild of our very own Ace Anderson. Ace is in 6th grade at Hartfield Academy, and is also a member of our REACH program.
REACH is Hartfield Academy’s initiative to help equip and empower studentsliving with learning differences. Like most students with learning differences, Ace has had to work extremely hard to succeed in the classroom. When Ace began working with our REACH department, he began to understand how to overcome challenges in the classroom and also found new confidence as the staff highlighted and appreciated all of the ways the Lord has gifted him. Students with learning differences often have minds that see the world differently, but have the ability to create.
Courtney Anders, our REACH Director, said: “I am thankful to see projects and events in place that give Ace and students like him the opportunities to shine. We are blessed at Hartfield not only to have a REACH program, but also staff or administration that supports children who learn differently. Ace and his family work hand-in-hand with us daily to help Ace reach his fullest potential academically. I am looking forward to continuing to see how the Lord uses his gifts and his ability to see the world in a special and distinct way.”
Through his experiences in REACH, Ace has come to see that what makes him different can actually be his super power.
Amy Hutton, one of Ace’s teachers, had this to say about Ace and Makers Faire: “Ace is one of the sweetest young men I have had the pleasure of working with this year in 6th grade. He is extremely intelligent with the funniest sense of humor. On some days, he is full of energy and may struggle to stay on track in class. His teachers are great a providing visual stimulating lessons with structure to afford him the best possible learning environment. Having a learning difference means just that, you learn differently. If you were to only observe him in class, you would miss the totality of his intellect. However, if you were to sit down and have him verbalize his “take” on specific subjects or lessons they are learning, it would blow you away how intricate his mind works."
Makers Faire was a wonderful example of an area where Ace’s ingenuity was able to shine bright! It was an absolute joy watching his confidence grow with every tour. I am so thankful and blessed to work at a school where each student has the ability to showcase their gifts in various ways, like the way Ace was able to during the Makers Faire project.”