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October 5, 2005
| ||Handprint by RJ, age 3.|
“Did you know that my dad hit me and it hurt? I don’t like my dad and I don’t want him to hurt me anymore. I learned in Windows that it was okay for me to tell you that.” Three-year-old RJ recently spoke these words to Karen Martz, one of our newest Children's Windows leaders at Angel Step Too. Karen describes that right after this conversation, which happened at naptime, RJ rolled over and slept well for the first time since he had arrived at the shelter. Karen’s story is a poignant reminder of how powerful the Windows program can be in children’s lives.
RJ’s mother has also noticed how creating art has helped her son to heal. She explains, “Over the last six months, I’ve watched my three-year-old son grow by leaps and bounds, not just physically but emotionally as well. A Window Between Worlds gave my son a voice. He knows what he wants and can express his feelings without fear. I cannot put into words how happy it makes me to see him open up and tell me exactly what’s going on inside him. He has changed and it is a joy to listen to him share.”
Karen has been thrilled to see how much all of the children at Angel Step Too look forward to Fridays, which is their Windows day. She tells us that the children immediately recognize the art group as a special time just for them. Recently, when a new child at the shelter was scared and crying, an older boy tried to comfort him by saying, “Just wait ‘til Friday when we have Windows - everything will be all right then.” Karen says, “Windows has allowed the children to go deeper into their feelings and has made our other programs more successful. They seem to feel safe emotionally and safe talking about themselves.”
We thank Karen for creating such a safe healing environment for children at Angel Step Too.