CEF 2023 Special Talent Showcase
$1,760.00 donated
$3,675.00 goal
Campaign ends on November 11, 2023 Campaign ended on November 11, 2023

Grade: 6-8

Teacher Name: Yijia Zheng

Description and purpose of grant: I would like to invite students with various special needs to participate in a special talent showcase, in order to help them feel included and engaged at school activities and that they have their own talents. They are encouraged to prepare for their art/talent while working on their communication and academic goals. At the showcase, they will show what they can do to the other participants, and learn something new at the same time. Parents, teachers, staff and other students who are interested are welcome too, to assist and learn more about their peers/students. This event will be a great example of Coppell ISD's core values--engagement of the students who might participate many other activities, great teaching that can happen outside of a classroom, relationships built from knowing our learners/peers better, and redefining success by celebrating their unique strengths and participation.

Implementation process: For the inaugural event, my current ideas are listed below with an expectation of around 30 students with special needs, 30 parents, 10 teachers, 20 peer buddies, 10 volunteers, and all interested participants/audience. If this event receives good feedback, we will consider making it a biannual or annual event in the following years, and potentially holding similar events for students in other grade levels.



Location: CMS West common area, in or around the cafeteria.

Time: TBD in Spring 2024 so we have time to prepare.

Participants: 6-8th grade students with special needs, parents, teachers, staff and other students who are interested within Coppell ISD; volunteers.

Agenda: 1st half of stage show -- Exploration Time -- 2nd half of stage show

  • 1st half: prepared performances, such as presentations, pre-recorded music pieces, theatre.
  • Exploration Time: everyone can go around the room and explore different stands with art works, experimental teaching and workshops, games, and collaborations.
  • 2nd half: semi-improv performances that formed from the exploration time; all participants can join without signing up or prior preparation.

Categories: may be adjusted since we are still getting to know more talents that our students have! Some categories may fit into one or more of the agenda above.

  • Art
    • Books (how to make a thread bound book--during Exploration Time; picture books to display, made by the students' drawings ahead of time)
    • Semi-AI coloring sheet (experience on Google Arts and Culture; watch our students use eye gaze or assistive technology to choose colors!)
    • Drawing/Painting
    • Origami
    • Craft
    • Collage (from newspaper, ads, magazines, trash, recycles, tickets, receipts, souvenirs…)
    • Photography/Film
    • Poem
  • Music/theatre
    • Recorded music video
    • Assistive drums
    • “Building a machine” collab workshop (up to ~15 people can join at once; can use body parts and/or objects that make sounds; each joins in the existing “machine circle" gradually with a unique repetitive movement. Nonverbal students can still participate in music/theatre this way!) See an example under Campaign Media (without participants' sound) or click here (with participants' sound) https://m.facebook.com/EmoryYTI/videos/theatre-of-the-oppressed/355690698434899/
    • Theatre games
    • Acting (some of our students love acting, either with their versatile voice or with puppets and toys!)
  • Culinary arts
    • Baking/cooking
    • Recipe (some students like making pudding by themselves! I'm curious about their recipes)
    • Drink recipes around the world? Try some new mixes and vote for your favorites.
  • Clothing
    • Design with students’ art work
    • Tie dye
  • Childhood games around the world (Our students come from different places and have different cultural background!)
    • East Asian: a variety of jump rope activities; ping pong; shuttlecock (I tried it with some students and they loved it. Just kick it with your foot and try to pass it to another person)
    • Latin American: Day of the Dead makeup and costumes, etc.
    • South Asian
    • Others to be explored
  • Presentations on geeky stuff
    • Special areas that they are interested in, such as airplanes, cars, etc.
    • Sports that do not involve competition, such as handstand
    • Memory or other strengths


  • Collaborate with the student, their parents and teachers to find the best category for each individual student
  • Consider the students' accomodation and utilize technology to assist with their performance
  • Practice for the performance in advance, and record videos for students who need, to reduce stress on the stage
  • Prepare enough prize to reward them for their hard work
  • Invite students' family and friends to form a good audience

Items you plan to purchase with grant money

  •  Art
    • Materials for thread bound book making
    • Materials to make picture books
    • Origami and craft supplies
    • Tablecloths, paints, brushes, paper, etc.
  • Music/theatre
    • Musical instruments, especially a variety of percussions, assistive drums, and supplies to make alternative instruments
    • Theatre props such as hand puppets; lighting, speakers, microphones
    • Karaoke machines or softwares
  • Culinary arts
    • Baking containers, sheets, tools and ingredients
    • Plates, silverware and cups
  • Clothing
    • White t-shirts
    • Other supplies such as tie-dye kit, containers, tarp, portable closet, hangers, disposable gloves
  • Childhood games
    • Chinese shuttlecocks
    • Little stones or peach cores or similar objects
    • Sandbags
    • Nets
    • Rubber bands
    • Jumping ropes
    • Ping pong table, net, paddles and balls
    • Other supplies depending on the games
  • Prize and award for the students, such as badges and toys they like
  • Shipping cost

In the event my grant is not fully funded, this is minimum amount I would need to get started on this project: 500 

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Thank you for this initiative!

229 days ago
Lenin Ayyasami
229 days ago
Bradley Allen

Love, love, LOVE this idea!

229 days ago

Everybody is a genius.

229 days ago
Srinivasan Sivakumar

Tejeshwar Srinivasan 7th Grader

230 days ago
230 days ago
Hemant Saraswat

Keep up the great work CMSW

231 days ago
Sherilyn Fox

Love this idea and love supporting the arts in CISD!

237 days ago
Jiao wang

Keep up the great work!

240 days ago
Shilpa Dipin
242 days ago
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