New Book Offers Tips for Public Schools to Create Gardens That Help Children With Special Needs Blossom

A trio of experts in therapy share ways gardening can help students with autism and other special needs in this new resource guide released by Dog Ear Publishing.

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Dog Ear Publishing releases “Growing … Plants, Functional Skills, and Communication Skills in School Gardens” by Tammy Blake, Dawn Leach and Shannon Fenix

The authors, who have more than four decades of experience as a group, have designed gardens and developed gardening programs and activities for students with a variety of abilities from preschool through high school.

Manassas, VA (PRWEB) May 14, 2014

Gardening provides much more than produce and pretty flowers when incorporated into a school setting. In fact, as the authors of this new book write, gardens can become an extension of the classroom, teaching invaluable academic skills, communication, and social skills. Garden experiences provide children a chance to practice fine motor and gross motor skills, as well as learn invaluable lessons about a leisure activity or potential job skill. The real-life experiences students have while gardening can influence everything from healthy food choices to their social and academic development.

“Growing … Plants, Functional Skills, and Communication Skills in School Gardens” offers descriptions on the benefits and applications of school gardens in a range of subjects from learning styles and curriculum connections to career exploration, psychological benefits and even community appeal. The authors, who have more than four decades of experience as a group, have designed gardens and developed gardening programs and activities for students with a variety of abilities from preschool through high school. Specific sections in the book include practical information about safety precautions, accommodations, guiding models and student objectives, garden jobs and garden leisure activities.

The book includes chapters on activities geared around specific seasons from making bird feeders to preparing garden beds for planting. An extensive student vocabulary list offers additional learning as students form their own definitions and draw pictures to support their thinking. Pages of photographs reinforce those definitions.

The authors write that they hope their resource guide will serve “as an invitation for students and teachers to expand their learning environments and establish an appreciation of nature,” helping students with special needs actively explore their world instead of simply observing it.

Authors Tammy Blake, Dawn Leach and Shannon Fenix have 43 years of combined experience providing occupational therapy and speech and language therapy in public schools. They have collaborated on local and regional presentations and workshops. Blake earned a doctorate in occupational therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Leach, who has a teaching license from the Commonwealth of Virginia, received a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from James Madison University and a certificate in clinical competence in speech-language pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Fenix received a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University.

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For additional information, please visit http://www.Growingschoolgardens.com.

Growing … Plants, Functional Skills, and Communication Skills in School Gardens
Tammy Blake, Dawn Leach and Shannon Fenix
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-2633-6        112 pages        $29.95 US

Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.


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    Dog Ear Publishing
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