The Investors Foundation recently presented Open Arts PAC with a $1,000 grant check to support an arts program for special needs children. Pictured are OAP executive director Taniel Bennett (left), Investors Bank Bordentown branch manager Krystle Gunning, OAP development manager Brian Baker, Investors Bank senior market manager Linda Martin and Investors Bank community development officer Sandy Broughton.

The Open Arts PAC recently received a $1,000 grant from the Investors Foundation and a $1,500 grant from the Roma Bank Community Foundation to fund a program designed to help special needs students hone their talents in the performing arts.

OAP will collaborate with the Special Parents Advocacy Group of Trenton, which provides services for students with special needs. Students will take part in a four-week playwright workshop in theater/music/acting as an after-school service.

“Special education and art integration have proven to be beneficial on many levels for special needs students,” says Taniel Bennett, OAP’s executive director. “Art helps special needs kids in their self-expression, life skills, literacy, and coordination.”

In addition to providing a great service for children with special needs to help them find success in life, studies show that this integration allows them to discover their own racial and cultural identities, to better cope with behavioral problems (especially for autistic children), and to nurture channels of openness for socialization.

Support from the Investors Foundation and the Roma Bank Community Foundation will also help further the mission of OAP, which is to expand opportunities in arts entertainment and education for residents of Bordentown and surrounding communities.

Those interested in supporting local arts education can contact Brian Baker, OAP development manager, at bbakeropenartspac@gmail.com or (609) 424-3058.

For more information, visit openartspac.org or myinvestorsbank.com/Community/Investors.