Kevin Spencer October Outreach

Gretchen Everhart School and the FSU College of Education

Kevin hosted three back-to-back workshops with students from Gretchen Everhart School. FSU students and Dr. Kelly Whalon, an Associate Professor in Special Education in the School of Teacher Education, also shadowed Kevin to aid students who needed it.

After Kevin showed off his magic tricks, Gretchen Everhart students were able to learn simple magic tricks designed to improve cognitive, motor, communication, and social skills while developing creativity. Not only did these tricks wow these students, but the teachers in the room were also impressed by the joy and confidence each student expressed when it was their turn to perform for their classmates.

Right in line with Kevin’s philosophy, Gretchen Everhart School believes educational programming should be designed to meet the needs of each student as an individual, rather than trying to fit the student into already established programs.

Making Light Productions

Kevin was able to show Making Light Production’s young performers and future Broadway stars the importance of working together (step by step) to make the impossible possible through a series of magic tricks. This inclusive group of students was able to not only learn from each other, but also able to enjoy seeing these highly specialized tricks come to life in front of their families and friends. Through the art of magic, children explore their curiosity, develop their creativity, and discover new confidence.

Making Light Productions offers inclusive music, art, dance and theatre classes for children and teens of all abilities.

FSU Autism Institute

At the FSU Autism Institute, Kevin was able to make life long connections with the top researcher in the field of autism studies from FSU’s faculty and staff in addition to hosting a workshop for these already talented educators in the art of magic. In this workshop they learned magic tricks to teach their clients and were able to dive into Kevin’s Hocus Focus™ Analytics Scale – a performance-based assessment instrument developed to measure student outcomes in cognition, motor skills, communication, and social skills while developing creativity.

Amy M. Wetherby, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, a distinguished research professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Director of the Autism Institute in the College of Medicine, was able to meet with Kevin to discuss his unique joinery of marrying the art of magic into a researched focus tool to help people with autism. The conversations and parallel goals have made for a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.

The FSU Autism Institute was established to coordinate and promote research, education, and service related to autism spectrum disorders.

FSU School of Communication and Science Disorders

In this highly “focused” workshop, 1st and 2nd-year graduate students from the FSU School of Communication and Science Disorders came together for this first time this school year to participate in Kevin’s activities driven by the Hocus Focus™ program so they can uniquely service Tallahassee’s autism population. Hocus Focus™ is a child-centered, arts-based program that combines education with imagination to help students develop and improve their skills in a variety of important areas. Spencer’s interdisciplinary approach to designing Hocus Focus™ values a holistic philosophy so essential to effective educational experiences that are generalizable for all children, including those with disabilities. Students learn magic tricks that they can use when working with their clients to help with improving their fine motor skills while following complex directions. Even director Hugh Catts joined in on the magic!

The mission of the Florida State University School of Communication Science and Disorders is to generate and disseminate knowledge related to communication processes and disorders. The program prepares undergraduate and graduate students to demonstrate broad-based knowledge of communication sciences and to apply theory and research findings to clinical practice.

Student Disability Resource Center at FSU

Spencer Scruggs, Assistant Director of the Student Disability Resource Center, co-organized a unique and mindful brainstorming session with his colleagues in this office and Kevin as the office is re-focus and aligning its internal operations with the Social Justice Model of Disability celebrating disability as an identity. The timing could not be better for Kevin to come and share his thoughts and experiences about the office’s mission of promoting and embracing the disability inclusion across campus and into the community. They discussed the importance of SDRC mission of creating an accessible and inclusive environment by identifying, minimizing, and where possible, eliminating barriers to equal access while encouraging equal participation for students with disabilities.

FSU High Flying Circus

Kevin made an impromptu visit the widely recognized High Flying Circus on FSU’s campus. Sandwiched between Doak Campbell and Dick Howser Stadium, the “temporary” tent stands out on its own as one of two such collegiate circuses in the United States. Director, Chad Matthews, and Kevin discussed ways to make the circus more accessible not only to the audience, but also to the performers themselves. Chad and Kevin continue to stay in touch and share connections. Kevin has worked all over the world, including working with the Roundabout Circus in New South Wales.

Pyramid Studios-Tallahassee

Students and staff at Pyramid Studios-Tallahassee were treated to a day of inspiration and magic when they hosted world-renowned illusionist and speaker Kevin Spencer.

Kevin was able to connect with each person he met while touring the program, commenting on artwork and simply talking with students and staff. His visit included an inclusive performance workshop where he showed students and staff, through magic, the power of laughter and learning. With his infectious energy and gentle techniques, Kevin made magic accessible to everyone in the room. He was able to also teach them a few tricks themselves allowing everyone to feel confident about learning something new.

Pyramid Studios Mission

We exist to meet the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We care about the people we serve, our employees and each other. We provide uncompromised service. We believe in what we do. We make a difference.

Tallahassee Community College Student Services

Kevin Spencer presented a special lecture in partnership with TCC Student Services. During this lecture, Kevin was able to impact TCC students and faculty along with special guests from the TCC Emergency Management Team, ACE (Adult Community Education) students and teachers, Flagler College students, and professors from the Education Department.

Even some students from ACE were able to perform their magic tricks for the audience! They were able to laugh, learn and connect with magic during the demonstration lecture. The mission of ACE is to provide educational opportunities, enabling adult learners 16 years and older to become responsible, independent contributors in the community in which they live and work.

Kevin also joined some Eagle Connections students for lunch after the lecture. Eagle Connections is a postsecondary comprehensive transition program for students with intellectual disabilities. The program follows the mission of the College to provide a learning environment that prepares students for success in a global economy by offering higher education pathways, workforce opportunities, and civic engagement experiences. Kevin listened to their career goals and answered questions about “making it” in the world of show business.