Art boosts Sunshine School

Posted: November 5, 2017 at 1 a.m.

Greta Thiele (left) with Benton County Master Gardeners helps students at the Sunshine School and Development Center plant flowers in the therapy garden at school. "A Very Special Art Show" on Friday will benefit the school's preschool and community support services.

Julie Barber, Walmart vice president and divisional merchandise manager of snacks, and Erin McCracken, Nickelodeon retail development senior director, will serve as honorary chairwomen for "A Very Special Art Show" Friday to benefit the Sunshine School and Development Center in Rogers.

The event at the school, 3400 N. Woods Lane, will feature works by local artists and Sunshine School students, beer, wine, hors d'oeuvres and live entertainment by Pinetop Renegade.

A Very Special Art Show

Who: Sunshine School and Development Center

What: Works by local artists and Sunshine School students, beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment by Pinetop Renegade

When: 6-8:30 p.m. Friday

Where: The school in Rogers, 2400 Woods Lane

Tickets: Pre-sale, $30; $35 at the door

Information: (479) 636-3190 or nwasunshineschool.org

The nonprofit organization founded in 1958 offers a therapeutic preschool for children ages 18 months to 5 years who have developmental delays or disabilities. The center also serves school-age children with outpatient therapies and provides community support for adults with disabilities in Benton and Washington counties.

The school implemented the Arkansas Autism Waiver Program in 2013 to provide early intervention for children diagnosed with autism from ages 2 to 7. The program is designed to provide intensive therapy early, with an emphasis on parental involvement. Earlier intervention and the start of therapies such as occupational, physical and speech-language therapies, are providing better outcomes for students.

"All of our programs continue to see increased enrollment, and we have added a social worker to our staff so that we can address the behavioral and mental health needs of the children we serve," Cyndi Bilyeu, chief executive officer, said. "We have also expanded our nursing program, as we have seen an increase in the number of medically fragile children enrolled ... Our supporters make it possible for kids to take their first steps, become more kindergarten ready, say their first words, or become more fully integrated in their community."

-- CARIN SCHOPPMEYER

cschoppmeyer@nwadg.com

NAN Profiles on 11/05/2017