Green Tree School: Transforming Lives and Impacting Communities Pt. 2

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Green Tree Partners with Episcopal Academy to Bring Green Tree’s Once Dull Activity Room to Life

A week prior to us visiting Green Tree School, the activity room was described by David Cambridge, the Director of Education as bland and gray. But with the generosity of Episcopal Academy, a local private school, they helped bring this once dull room to life.

A group of eight to ten Episcopal Academy students accompanied by a teacher, transformed the area into a vibrant activity room. The volunteers came out and transformed the room in one day, by adding several creative pieces, including a large mural. This room accommodates a broad range of students, not only different ages but also different divisions of severe emotional and autism spectrum support.

The purpose of the activity room is so that students can move around freely and build basic skills throughout the day. Some of the amenities of this room include stimulation-inducing items such as yoga balls and a ball pit, which help calm and soothe the students. Also, here they use the PECS system. This is a series of pictures that allow students with low verbal skills to communicate their needs. By providing these resources, the students demonstrate better behavior and reduced levels of frustration.

The volunteers from Episcopal Academy added to this goal by making this environment more relaxed and inviting. This movement and occupational therapy space gives access to high end treatment irregardless of a student’s outside life. Hands-on activities are sometimes required for some students to feel calmer.

Soon the volunteers from Episcopal Academy will be bringing to life a community garden which the students of Green Tree will be responsible for; the garden will provide fresh ingredients for lunches and teach the kids the values of creating something from the ground up.

By: Katie Prantil, Brianna Love, Noelle Franklin

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