By: Ella Metuki, Actor/Educator/Apple Arts Intern Extraordinaire

Sometimes all it takes to get a kid involved in Apple Arts is a few moments of specialized attention and help. Brianna is a sharp and funny eleven year old, who has been coming to Apple Arts for a while. She usually sits at the “teen table”, where the art work often takes a back seat to talking about boys, school, favorite songs and all the other thing that occupy the mind of a teenage girl.

So when Brianna wasn’t finishing up projects, or would just sit in front of an empty page for an hour, I assumed it was for lack of interest, and since she seemed happy enough just hanging out, I let it be. But a visit from my mother, A Speech and Language Therapist, sparked the notion that Brianna might actually be having a hard time planning how to use her time at Apple Arts, and how to go from her many great ideas to an actual kite, puppet show or dream journal.

The next week, as we started working on board games, I decided to sit down with Brianna and walk her through the process. Together, we made a list of her ideas, made a sketch for her game and a list of what we needed to do to create it. We sat together and drew the board game. A task which seemed so difficult at first became easy as I held the ruler, checked back in with the sketch, and asked some questions to help Brianna in finding the next step in creating her game.

The week after that, everyone wanted to play Brianna’s game. She was able to easily explain the rules to everyone and had a lot of fun playing. I could see she was proud of having created that, and I was endlessly proud of her.