Randolph students enjoy Rainbow Factory art program

Fourteen special education students recently had the opportunity to explore arts in a noncompetitive environment with local art instructors at the Randolph County Community Arts Center.

The event, Rainbow Factory, is the only local arts program designed especially for special education students.

This year, students rotated through stations including face painting, removable tattoos, puppetry, making theaters and improvising puppet shows. Completed puppets and theaters were sent back to the individual participating schools for further use in the classrooms.

“The kids really had a great day,” said organizer Cathy McMenamy of the Woman’s Club of Elkins. “When it came to performance time, they started right in and loved working with the theaters. They performed for us for more than an hour, singing songs and making up stories. They just couldn’t get enough.”

Artists volunteering for the Rainbow Factory include Kadra Casseday of Beverly, who is a painter and printmaker; Kathryn Prentice of Elkins, who teaches adult and children sewing classes; Jane Birdsong of Elkins, who teaches music and French at the Highland Adventist School; Cindy Carowick of Elkins, who teaches at Fingerprint Pre-School; and Linda Zimmer of Elkins, who is a puppeteer, writer and musician.

Students participating in the Rainbow Factory on Friday were from Third Ward and Homestead elementary schools. Sponsors for the event are the Woman’s Club of Elkins and the Randolph County Community Arts Center. Local donors for the event are Star Furniture and Sherwin Williams.