“I never thought I’d really be able to tell the stories that are in my imagination.”
That was the excitedly delivered message from one of our high school art students as he presented his work to a group of Ranch employees. He was thrilled to be doing so. “I haven’t really spoken in public since second grade,” he said, smiling ear-to-ear.
As this 15-year-old boy gripped a brightly colored clay sculpture, with a large gaping mouth, legs, fins, and stegosaurus-type pokey things on its spine, he said proudly, “It’s a Dragonfish.” He went on to tell us he had made the modeling clay himself, and because he was so good at it, he made enough for the entire class!
“You see, I have really bad arthritis in my right hand… so I don’t draw or write so well. But I can show what I am thinking with clay!” He then went on to show us some detailed ink drawings he had done, “to work on my fine motor skills.” Yes, he said that. These kids are smart.
Next, he shared that his art teacher, Mrs. Wentland, told him that “many attempts” are how art is done. One of the audience suggested he could create a whole children’s book around his fish. He said he already has lots of stories he has written in his head, like the one about a knight. He told them to his younger siblings when he put them to bed at night… but never thought he’d be able to show people what he was seeing in his mind when he told the story.
This Ranch student's enthusiasm about presenting his work to the group was infectious. When he was done, we all wanted a Dragonfish on our desks!
He’s had a rough go in life so far, and he has a lot of work to do. He struggles with the things he was never taught, like hygiene. He struggles with traumas that eat away at his mental health.
But now he has two more tools in his tool kit. He knows he is good with clay and can find success in art. And, he knows that sometimes “many attempts” are what it takes to get the result you are looking for.
Please keep our kids and staff in your prayers.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
Hope is a very powerful thing. For kids at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, hope can mean the difference between successful treatment and giving up on life. You can provide hope for our kids. Your message will let a boy or girl know that someone cares and wants them to succeed. It's easy to do and takes just a few minutes! Send a message of hope to a child at the Ranch by clicking on the link above.
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