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 Students With Special Needs Show Off Artistic Talent

Students with special needs from throughout South County showed off their artistic side Wednesday at an annual art show.

The event was organized by employees with the South County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) for students in special education programs at the six school districts within the area.

Art included drawings, paintings, collages and mixed-media work from nearly 200 students in kindergarten through high school.

“I think it’s great for the students to see their work up there,” said Ryan Estrellado, a coordinator with the SELPA. “We also want them to see each other’s work.”

It was the seventh year the SELPA has organized the art show, which provides students with an opportunity to boost their self-esteem and explore their creativity. At the same time, it promotes the arts and ties into new state standards that emphasize problem-solving and creativity.

 “It motivates the families and the children and makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger than the classroom,” said Russell Coronado, senior director for the SELPA.

Dozens of parents, students, and teachers visited the South County Regional Educational Center in National City for the show. Participating students proudly showed their work and received certificates for taking part.