By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Earlier this month, a few students and classrooms throughout Brevard County received monetary gifts and recognition in the spirit of the holidays.
In partnership with Moletteire Injury Law of Melbourne, Very Special Arts-Brevard announced Joseph S., a sixth-grader at Turner Elementary School in Palm Bay, as the winner of the 2012 Holiday Card Contest.
Joseph is an exceptional student Education Student in Don Carothers' class at Turner Elementary.
By winning the art contest, Molettiere Injury Law members said Joseph's art was used as the firm's holiday card that was sent to its many clients and friends.
"Joseph's entry was a unanimous choice this year," said Lori Emly, VSA-Brevard district director and director of Cogswell Street Studio. "He is a wonderful artist, and I hope he will continue with his art. VSA-Brevard is committed to helping children and adults with disabilities reach their full potential through the arts and art experiences."
Since 1987, VSA-Brevard, which is a program of the Brevard Achievement Center, has served children and youth with disabilities in the public school system.
Ms. Emly, who organized the art contest, said Joseph received a gift for winning the contest, as well.
Along with Joseph, Ms. Emily said the firm awarded gifts to second-place winner Shane S. of Palm Bay Elementary and third-place winner Cameron N. of H.C. Andersen Elementary.
Ms. Emly said the teachers of the three winners also received money for their classrooms.
The contest has been hosted for 15 years by the firm, led by Bob Moletteire.
Ms. Emly said the contest gives students who may not excel in other areas the chance to have their talents recognized.
"The most important thing about this program is it gives children, who may have problems in other areas of school, a chance to shine and express themselves through their art," she said. "There are not a lot of opportunities for children with disabilities to express and empower themselves. It is very empowering for that child to realize they can be successful in some areas of their lives."
More than 65 ESE students participated in this year's contest, the firm said.
For more information about VSA-Brevard, visit www.vsabrevard.org, or contact Lori Emly at email@example.com.