Marian Johnson also developed and offered two other expressive arts programs in Pottsville, PA and in Lehighton, PA. These programs were also funded by the Talbot Hall Grant Funding of the Episcopal Church, Bethlehem Diocese.
The Trinity Center for Children in Pottsville, Pa. is an outreach program of the Trinity Episcopal Church of Pottsville. The Center is directed by Mrs. Susan Reier and offers pre-school, extended daycare for the preschoolers, kindergarten and before and after-school programs for children ages 3-12.
Since December of 1997, Marian travelled weekly to the Center to offer an expressive arts program to the children involving the after-school children and some of the pre-schoolers. Making and painting butterfly and eagle wings to wear, practicing and acting in "The Lost and Found Daughter" (Marian's rewrite of the Bible story of "The Prodigal Son"), creative dancing and movement, learning new songs (some original songs of Marian's, too), face-painting, bead-art making, guided imagery relaxation exercises and related imagination walks were all part of the "inner art" development activities. The children presented their rendition of "The Lost and Found Daughter" as part of a special worship service on Trinity Center Sunday in March for the Trinity Church community. They also sang "Ishnanah Mayou", one of the guided imagery songs and played percussion as part of the larger closing program for the Center this past May. Respectful communication skills and personal understanding were paramount goals in each activity.
All the children loved the activities and each week the number of children involved varied, according to their interest. Some weeks 14 children participated, other weeks four or five. It allowed Marian the opportunity to really get to know the needs of each child. Each week, when Marian entered the Center, you could hear the familiar question rise up from the children "What will we do today, Miss Marian?".
And so, the heart of a child is forever looking for new and happy experiences with an adult who truly cares about them.
All Saints Episcopal Church in Lehighton, Pa. hosted the fourth expressive arts program. All Saints Church and Saint John's Episcopal Church of Palmerton are led by one pastor, Rev. Peter Herrer.
All the children of the two churches and any young friends they had were invited to attend. The group ranges in age from 6-10 and numbers from five to nine participants. The program began in February 1998 and will continue into early summer.
This is a Saturday afternoon program that meets eight times over several months. The two hour program focuses on bolstering the children's self-esteem through expressive arts. Painting large posterboard with some of their favorite story characters, creative movement and dancing, learning new songs, chalk-drawing and story writing about the drawings, preparing for a talent show featuring some acting and singing, painting the set decorations and sharing some of our favorite things are all pat of the activities. Peaceful communications that reflect respect to others and oneself are encouraged, as well as ways to appreciatively see oneself and others.