The special needs students are learning the art of making candies, miniature catboats, weaving and plaiting. Each week, Chris Christian of Cayman Traditional Arts brings craft experts from the community into the schools to teach the children.
“Students benefit tremendously from the experience,” said Katherine Briscoe, a teacher at Lighthouse School.
“I think the most rewarding part of this program is the opportunity for the kids to learn about their Cayman heritage from Caymanians,” she said. “It gives them a window to the past and an appreciation for the present. They get to move around, get instruction from a different adult whom they respect, and are learning not just about culture but about themselves.”
Mr. Christian said the program, which was started more than three years ago, “has been tremendously successful within the mainstream public schools, reaching out to all Year 6 students in a bid to educate them about Cayman’s rich history, culture and tradition.”
Now, for the first time this school year, he said, “We have been able to bring our Heritage Arts program to the students at the Lighthouse School, and it has been immensely rewarding for all of us who deliver the program to see the obvious enjoyment in the eyes of the students every time we work with them.”
In addition to the hands-on experience, every Thursday the students attend art classes at the National Gallery.