CHATHAM, NJ - Ava Tesoriero put her passion for art into creating a "Sensory Art Program" for special needs adults at Corpus Christi.
The culmination of the program came Sunday night with an art exhibit at Corpus Christi, where the various works of art connected to the "five senses" were on display.
The 16-year-old Chatham High student came up with the idea for her Girl Scout Gold Award project to provide the program for special needs adults who gather to socialize as members of the Corpus Christi Chargers.
"I personally love art, it's been a passion of mine since I was little and I really wanted to create a program that involved my passion," Tesoriero said. "When I found out that the Chargers needed a revamping of their program, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to put something together and create something for a cause."
Girl Scout Ava Tesoriero talks about the "Sensory Art Program"
"I'd see members of the Chargers in church or when I was out and they'd ask about doing the next art project," Sr. Margaret Dincher, SCC, said. "They were delighted and thrilled with the program."
Ava Tesoriello talks about the 11 art projects the Chargers worked on
"I researched different sensory arts, such as touch, feel, something that would benefit them in the sense of tactile, that would be difficult yet at their skill level," Tesoriero said. "We started out with gluing but moved onto different sounds and sights.There was a lot of research that went into it."
According to Tesoriero's research, the benefits of sensory art include calming effects, stimulation, socialization, improved focus, motor skill development, sensory development, and cognitive development.
"I really think they enjoyed it, for one, and they don't get a lot of opportunities to do something like this," she said. "One of them said they hadn't done art since they were in school, which was years ago. They said it really relaxed them. The feedback was very positive."