Have you heard of Rascals & Sparkles? It is a Performing Arts Club for 5 to 7 year olds with additional needs. It is run by the very lovely Ellie, who tells us a little bit more about herself and the club…
I am Ellie Young. I moved to Worthing 3 years ago from Portsmouth. My passion has always been for drama and music but as well as performing and directing I really enjoy using these in the community as tools to bring people together and help people.
Having been part of various theatre, radio, music and community projects in Portsmouth I immediately started to look for things to do locally. When I got to Worthing, I was excited to find a good variety of passionate people doing exciting things. Over the past 3 years I have worked with the Oxjam festival, Worthing WOW events, Centre Stage, WKDS, Rock Choir and run a drama school for disabled adults.
Over that time I have really enjoyed working with children with additional needs.
I learned Makaton to help me communicate better with the non verbal children. I have always known performing arts is a great way to help people’s social skills and confidence. But the difference it makes to these children is amazing.
Although many children with additional needs do great in mainstream school and clubs, there are some children who need a bit more support, understanding, and a different teaching pace, that out of school clubs often can’t provide.
That’s why I set up Rascals & Sparkles. My aim in the class is to use the drama games, sing and sign and dancing we do, to help children learn to engage with other people, boost their confidence and their social skills. Some of the children are amazing enough to go on to become pop stars, join the royal ballet and star in the west end! But while they are with me, we will concentrate on having fun and growing as people, learning skills that will help them in every day life.