It was a conversation between Northern Trails 5/6 school special education teacher Kate DeJong and sixth-grader Laney White that led to a school-wide art session, “Painting with Jeff.”
“Laney and I were going through the hallway, talking about what to do with our free time,” DeJong said. “We saw custodian Jeff (Chadderdon) in the hallway and asked him what he liked to do.”
Chadderton’s reply: “I told them I like to paint.”
So DeJong asked him if he would lead a painting session for students in her moderate cognitive impairment class. He agreed.
“The class was a huge hit with the students,” DeJong said, and Chadderdon has now led three painting sessions for her students. And that got her thinking “that there were probably more students throughout the entire school who might enjoy the same opportunity.”
DeJong encouraged Chadderdon to share his interest in painting with more students, something Chadderdon has done through his own YouTube channel. Through some rearranging of his schedule and with a grant from the school’s PTO, Chadderdon has been offering painting lessons this year during the school’s lunch and recess period, usually from noon to 12:35 p.m. on Tuesdays for sixth-graders and on Thursdays for fifth-graders.
To read more on how Chadderdon is inspiring students with their brush strokes, read the complete story with School News Network, linked here.