Educating the Whole Child

Students with learning difficulties are too often viewed through the lens of failure. The traditional education system focuses on the deficits students have - they can’t read, or they can’t process information quickly, or they can’t adapt to the classroom environment. This is problematic in many ways, but one of them is that students can become defined not only by their difficulties, but by the academic areas those difficulties impact. Ann Arbor Academy, from its inception, has made it a priority to lift students up by providing lots of opportunities to shine in the arts and other areas that are missing from a narrow academic deficit based focus.

Nurturing children through a holistic approach to education is the most effective way to prepare them for the world they will become part of in adulthood. Students with disabilities and learning differences benefit even more than their peers from this, because the arts and related areas can give them a chance to shine. Success builds more success, and we must, as adults, find our voice and have confidence in our ability to make choices and follow through in order to realize our potential.