SAN JUAN, Texas – Overcoming barriers is what art teacher Cristina Correa is doing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The IDEA College Preparatory in San Juan teacher is finding new ways of keeping her students engaged.

While stay-at-home orders continue, Correa thought it would be better for students to use things they already have at home such as coffee, Kool-Aid, and for some, make up.

“Who doesn’t remember having Kool-Aid stained fingers as a kid either from making Kool-Aid or having a raspa or just sticking your fingers into the powder. If you mix it with water it becomes beautiful water color,” said Correa.

“In a time like the one we are living in right now, it’s important to focus on what we do have as opposed to what we don’t,” Correa added.

“Some of the girls have been using their make up and so they’ve created some of these beautiful drawings using nail polish, eye shadows, that beautiful highlighter, even coffee it makes this beautiful stain, this beautiful brown color.”

During one of her Zoom classes, Correa also taught students how to turn a T-shirt into a face mask. She said this would be a valuable art skill students can apply to the real world.

“We’re looking for new solutions and the new solutions are coming everyday. Maybe Monday, maybe months from now we’ll have something even better. For now we’re working together to reach every family as best as we can.”

Correa is faithful that being limited during the pandemic will have taught many to think in more creative ways.