Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SEVAI promotes simple School Gardening hobby with Children with Special Needs

Children with special needs are involved in gardening hobby in SEVAI

SEVAI runs a special school for intellectually challenged children in Pettavaithalai and 20 Rural children with special needs are taken care and being given training and education based on their ability under inclusive approach. Based on the advice of Dr.Benjamine Oberoi, Vice President of OFI, VĂ©ronique Lefebvre, a French OFI volunteer and Vasanthi had developed a simple garden along with the children with special needs in School premises. These children with special needs undertake gardening with the guidance of the care taker. The opportunities for children with hands-on learning through exploration, experimentation and nurturing have been especially beneficial for children with special needs. Gardens provide real world examples and experiences that boost learning for students who thrive on practical instruction. Activities in the garden are adapted for various skill levels and allow children to connect with nature and each other in unique and important ways. Gardening results in products the students can be proud of and share with others for praise and recognition. Special needs describe a host of children: those with mental, social, and emotional challenges including mental retardation, autism, sensory impairment, learning disabilities, or physical or mental developmental delays. Most children require content and activities adapted and delivered in specific ways in order to master the same educational content as their peers. Lessons based on themes help students with mild disabilities focus on a few important ideas rather than getting lost in numerous details. School gardens are a perfect fit for addressing the needs of the children.Vasanthi,a special educator of SEVAI School lists the benefits of applies to all children, “they are
Tree plantation by children
especially evident for children with special needs such as Gardens provide hands-on experiences that allow students to see cause-and-effect relationships, Garden activities can be used to teach multiple disciplines and create connections across the curriculum, The beauty of a garden and the rewards of harvest provide positive intrinsic reinforcement; the praise and admiration of others who enjoying the results of students’ work offer extrinsic reinforcement. Garden activities are often completed in teams, providing opportunities for students to practice communication skills and work closely with others toward a common goal in a non-threatening environment. Students feel empowered by their ability to make improvements to their environment and community. Tending plants helps students develop patience, responsibility, and self-confidence. Garden activities provide opportunities for sensory exploration, the expression of creativity, and practice of inquiry. The physical nature of gardening especially engages students who have trouble sitting still and concentrating in a traditional classroom setting. Garden work helps to build gross and fine motor skills. Gardening can decrease stress. Gardening skills can translate into job skills later in life or become a life-long hobby”.Govin

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