The Prism Project is a partnership between The School of Music, the Department of Theater and Dance, Interlock, the Sibshops (2009 and 2010), Autism Advocates of Indiana (2011), the Muncie Public Schools, and the greater Muncie Community.
Founded in 2009 by Michael Daehn, associate professor of theatre education; Ryan Hourigan, director of the School of Music; and Amy Hourigan, instructor of music education; through a Ball State immersive learning grant, the goal of the Prism Project is two-fold.
First and foremost, it is a performing arts program for students with special needs. Second, it is a training ground for Ball State students who wish to work with children who have exceptionalities.
Ball State students who are involved in this immersive learning course usually have little or no experience teaching children with special needs.
The Prism Project gives students the experience they need and equips them with beneficial tools before entering their teaching or clinical profession.
Ball State students learn to apply motivational and instructional strategies, which improves their ability and willingness to teach, work, and empathize with children with disabilities.
Each January, university students can apply to be a Ball State buddy. Buddies support and engage the exceptional students enrolled in the project and work with the students on a weekly basis.
Volunteers do not need to have a background in the arts—just a willingness to encourage and have fun with the performers.