Ability Arts Festival

Students Perform Musical Acts


Kyla Gaines

At the Ability Arts Festival performance at North Cross United Methodist Church, sophomore Josh Roush sings lead for on March 9. He said he wore a hat during the performances and picked out his outfit himself.

Kyla Gaines

The Ability Arts Festival was an opportunity for the Goals students to connect with kids from other schools and to show off their special skills. This annual event was held for students around the North Kansas City area. The festival was held at North Cross United Methodist Church, March 9 and was sponsored by The Pilot Club of Blue Springs as a service project and organized by the North Kansas City School activity coordinator Lennette Johnson.

“Whenever I first started, we had a keyboard and CD players. It was just very low tech. As the years have progressed, it has just grown and grown, and more people want to perform,” said Johnson.

The Pilot Club provides funding for items, workshops and supplies needed to put on the performance for the students, along with the NKCSD. Without this club and volunteers, the annual event would not be able to continue.

“We’ve been doing this for almost 30 years. Our Pilot Club’s focus is on brain-related disorders and protecting your brain for life,” said Nancy Rogers, a member of the Pilot Clubs.

During the time before performances, the students were offered 10 workshops including clay, crafts, storytelling and balloon art. After the workshops, there was a lunch held for all students and schools participating in the event. Following the workshops, there were performances of select students from each school that attended.

“I almost wished we had more time. They loved the day and the community, especially now that they’re high-school kids. A lot of the people that were there have known them since they were in kindergarten. It’s just nice for them to see how much they’ve grown up in the last few years,” said special education teacher Tracey Wasinger.

The NKCSD is one of the only districts that puts on this program, and it receives positive feedback from parents and the students. The students got to connect with previous teachers and friends from other schools.

“I had one student that just sat smiling the entire day looking at staff members she used to have as teachers or people she has been at other schools with,” said Wasinger.

The program provided the students with a creative outlet to express themselves, and the parents and teachers brought support to their children on a day that was all about them.