Stepping Stones helps close to 70,000 disabled individuals over the age of five living in their service area. The organization helps them focus on there abilities, not their disabilities.
The annual Stepping Stones Arts Festival allows children to work on their cognitive and motor skills.
Tie-dying is just one of the activities that help children with disabilities focus. Stepping Stones includes dozens of different events at the arts festival for students, including those from South Middle School, to participate in.
"This is one of the highlights of the year," said Jamie Knotts, a Special Educator at South Middle School. "My students absolutely love coming here. I work with 9 different students with all ability levels so we can find activities that they can do and do well. So, it's an awesome activity so we love it."
"We try to get these kids to sit down and focus on a fine motor activity, and that's really tough," said Monica Marietta, the Executive Director at Stepping Stones. "So, we have to give them a little balance between the fine motor and the gross motor. There's trampolines, there's the bounce castles, there's Zumba, and there's CTA here doing hip hop. But really it's that mix, that balance between the two activities the fine and gross."
There was music, Origami, and even baton lessons.
The WVU Twirling Team was there to teach some kids a few things.
"I told Monica earlier that a lot of them are naturals," said Whitney Godwin, a member of the WVU Twirling Team and a volunteer at the festival. "It's funny because it helps develop their motor skills, which is why they decided to have me come out and help them out, and a lot of them are doing great they pick it up really quickly."
Most of the activities are fun for the students but also require them to use different senses at the same time. This helps them in other areas of their learning.
"The sensory input is something that many of our students have issues with," said Knotts. "So being able to work through those issues of sensory problems helps them once we get back to schools as well. So, it's a fantastic activity."
Knotts has been bringing his students to the festival for more than ten years.
Stepping Stones is also excited to unveil the new outdoor pool at it's location at Mylan Park. The students will be able to swim in outdoor and indoor pools during the summer programs.