The Lee County School District is proud to announce that 10-year-old Ayelen Arabe Tardio is one of VSA Florida’s Student of the Month for January 2018. VSA Florida is the State Organization on Arts and Disability.

Ayelen is a student at Pinewoods Elementary in Estero. She was nominated by her ESE teacher, Ximena Hurtado, for her outstanding leadership. Hurtado says Aylen is no longer the little girl who would hide under desks and not participate in creative activities with her class. “This year, Hurtado says, “Ayelen has blossomed and embraced her talents. Ayelen is able to use the arts to express herself in a positive manner. She is truly a part of the class and is a happier child because of it.”

Ayelen has Downs Syndrome, yet continues to be a community role model and champion for awareness and kindness. She has also modeled for Culvers, Sears, Chuck E. Cheese and Disney.

VSA Florida will be at the February 13, 2018 School Board meeting at 6 PM to present Ayelen with a personalized trophy and gift certificate.

VSA Florida conducts art education programs in schools, Department of Juvenile Justice facilities, and community centers. It also promotes the accomplishments of artists with disabilities through our artist registry, exhibitions, and performances and increases access to the arts through professional development workshops.