Connecting Art Students to a Cause

11 students smile behind table with colorful quilt blocks in front of them
Carrie Becher

Through a hands-on project followed by a full-body experience, Emily Ledbetter brings compassion into her classroom and teaches her students about the impact of multiple sclerosis.

"My students receive a story of a patient with MS, and they create quilt blocks based on that person's story," said Mrs. Ledbetter. "The quilt blocks are then given to a woman who quilts them together, and the quilt is then auctioned off to raise funds for MS at their annual benefit dinner."

When the quilt blocks are completed, Mrs. Ledbetter invites Michelle Keating, founder of MS Bright Spots of Hope, to talk with her students. "She is a former nurse who developed MS and had to teach herself to walk again through physical therapy, particularly biking," explains Mrs.Ledbetter. "She started this non-profit organization to help raise fund for the National MS Society, as well as provide educational events for those struggling with MS. We have been working with her for the past four years. Michelle will talk to the guys briefly about MS and then will let them ride around the track on a bike that is specially made for her."

Students enjoyed gathering on the track to ride the bike and helped each other learn how to maneuver its unique design.

"The students love this opportunity," said Mrs.Ledbetter. "And it's so great to connect them with real people through their art and this experience." 

student rides low bike around high school track
student rides low bike around high school track, woman with cane talks to him,
student smiles as he rides low bike around high school track, legs in braces
student rides low bike around high school track, woman with cane shows him hand brake
student sits in low bike around high school track, group behind him, woman with cane stands next to him

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