SPinson

Students Find Purpose and Happiness in Helping Others

Applied Skills students learn the value of giving through various activities throughout the year. Every Friday in December, for example, students prepared and circulated a “Sunshine Cart” among the classrooms and offices of Linden Grove School and St. Saviour Parish. The cart was filled with treats ranging from homemade muffins to Reindeer Chow. Students then used Sunshine Cart tips, as well as donations from various sources, to create care packages for homeless individuals.

“Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person.”  — Goldie Hawn

 

Left: Preparing care packages for the homeless, left to right: Erika Thomas, Justin Ulrich, Tazz Siekman. Right: Applied Skills students and staff with their Sunshine Cart.

Learning and Enrichment through Reading

Reading is an exercise for the mind. While increasing focus and concentration, it improves vocabulary, memory and comprehension. Reading also encourages empathy, inspires creativity and helps broaden students’ horizons. LGS’s curriculum currently includes the books Holes, The Hobbit, Coraline and Zane and the Hurricane. Depending on the season and students’ interests, teachers may also include books such as The Empty Pot, Balloons Over Broadway or There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom.

Record-Breaking Generosity

Linden Grove School’s 2019 Giving Tuesday Campaign generated $55,000 in pledges and contributions — $25,000 more than last year! Combined with the $20,000 Challenge Match, this year’s campaign total exceeded $75,000.

Thank you to everyone who contributed. Together, we are changing lives!

Helping Students Achieve More through Interoceptive Awareness

Interoceptive awareness is gaining attention for its ability to help students achieve more in school, improve their social interactions and increase their general sense of well-being.

The senses of taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing help individuals determine if food smells appetizing or spoiled or if water feels soothingly warm or scalding hot. Interoception, a lesser known sense, helps individuals feel and understand what is going on inside their body; for example, when their stomach or bladder feels full or when their heartbeat is fast and their muscles tensed.

Interoception sessions help students perceive information from their body so they may respond appropriately. A student sensing a rapid heartbeat during an exam may respond by taking deep, slow breaths. Another student, sensing his muscles tense up during a game with a classmate, may remind himself “it’s only a game” and focus on being a “good sport.”

Ultimately, interoception sessions help individuals better manage their behaviors, emotions and thoughts to improve success at school, at work and in their personal lives.

Sensory Supports Increase Long-Term Success

Sensory activities help students and adults experience success at school, at work and in their personal lives. Chewing gum, for example, reduces anxiety and improves concentration. A few jumping jacks or push-ups increase energy and attention.

Linden Grove School staff collaborate to create a personal sensory plan for each student.  A plan might include:

  • Walking – taking a brief walk at specified intervals.
  • Brushing – brushing the body with a small surgical brush.
  • Therapeutic listening – listening to carefully selected music.
  • Fidgets – objects to keep students’ hands busy.
  • Desk accommodations – standing desk, specialized seating, etc.
  • Objects to chew – pencil toppers, chewable jewelry, and more.
  • Push-ups, jumping – includes push-ups against a wall or jumping on a trampoline.

During the day, if a student is losing focus or becoming overly stressed a staff member might ask, “Do you need a break?” Ultimately, staff work with students to help them identify when they are feeling stressed or fatigued and the tools they can use to help them adjust and get back on track.

Contributions make sensory supports and resources possible.

Donate today.

Your support can change a life.

Small Class Sizes have Lasting Effects

Small class sizes enable teachers to provide individualized attention and encourage active participation among all students to increase academic achievement. More importantly, small class sizes boost student self-esteem which positively impacts students’ long-term ability to learn and interact positively with peers.

Linden Grove School (LGS) maintains staff to student ratios of 1:3 to 1:7 depending upon age and need. LGS program staff utilize evidence-based practices (EBPs) and carefully selected educational resources to encourage student learning and achievement.

Contributions make this possible.

The school relies on contributions to fund the gap between tuition and the actual cost of providing its specialized education and supports. The “gap” typically ranges from $1,700 to $3,000 per student each year.

Donate today.

Your support can change a life.

Social Skills Help Measure the Size of the Problem

Social Skills classes and one-on-one sessions not only help LGS students improve social interactions, they also provide students with tools to help them respond effectively to problems at school, in their personal lives, and—as they mature—in adult life. One tool LGS staff utilize with students is asking them to consider: “How big is the problem?” For example:

  • Small problems can be solved on one’s own: a broken pencil or losing a game.
  • Medium problems may require some help: trouble with a math problem or a lost coat.
  • Big problems need big help! Examples include a serious illness or disaster.

Once students learn to identify the size of the problem, they learn small or medium problems need small or medium reactions such as saying “It’s ok, it;s not a big deal,” or asking another person for help. Further, a BIG reaction to a small problem can negatively impact relationships with others—yelling and screaming over a lost game may discourage future invitation to play.

LGS social skills classes and supports are critical for success in school and life. The extent of these supports depends on contributions.

Donate today.

Your support can change a life

2-in-1 Approach Maximizes Student Potential

Linden Grove School offers traditional classroom experiences with peers as well as one-on-one supports in speech, occupational therapy, and social skills. This unique combination increases student achievement, and gives students the skills and self-confidence for long-term success.

LGS’s team of specialists provide intensive supports to help students with communication, coordination, social interactions, and more. Classroom experiences help students:

  • Positively interact with peers and teachers
  • Adapt to new rules and routines
  • Build self-esteem through classroom activities and presentations

More than anything else, classroom experiences create a sense of belonging – a feeling of being connected to and accepted by others. A sense of belonging not only increases student engagement, it encourages confidence which helps students face challenges and achieve success in high school and beyond.

Contributions ensure the continuation of 1:1 intensive supports in combination with traditional classroom experiences.

Donate today.

Your support can change a life.

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