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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.

Visual Supports Help Students Communicate and Learn

Most people with autism think in pictures. They have a hard time finding words to express their thoughts, so they’ll internally visualize pictures to help them find the appropriate words. It’s as if they have a virtual Rolodex of pictures in their head and as they’re speaking they’re referencing those images and equating them to words.

Linden Grove School uses visual supports in a variety of ways.

For students who are less verbal, they are provided with visuals to help them communicate their needs and wants while helping them to build their internal Rolodex. For example, they may be provided with images to indicate if they prefer to go out to the playground or use an iPad during free time.

Visuals are also used to communicate school schedules and to illustrate steps in a task, whether a science experiment, a writing assignment, or a recipe for making breakfast sandwiches.

For more on life at Linden Grove School, read online editions of Life Newsletters.

Afterschool Activities Encourage New Interests and Skills

Linden Grove School recognizes the value of extra-curricular activities in regard to exploring personal interests and developing new skills. Available options include swimming, Taekwondo, Lego™ Club, and the Dingoes scout group. NEW this year: Cooking at LGS and a Human-Animal-Intervention Program through the Cincinnati Zoo.

For more on life at Linden Grove School, view online editions of Life Newsletters.

Cultivating Skills and Behaviors for Future Learning — and Friends

Whether teaching about protons and neutrons or social, geographical and economic aspects of Ancient Egypt; LGS educators use academic instruction to help students increase their ability to maintain focus, organize materials, prioritize assignments, and more.

Specialized therapists and staff also work together to assist students in developing coping strategies to better manage stressors that can seem overwhelming. Social skills classes and extra-curricular activities encourage positive interactions among students both during and outside of school, often resulting in friendship that last through high school and into adult life. Most importantly, the LGS community helps students develop positive self-esteem and confidence to determine and pursue their personal goals and interests.

Specialized therapists and staff also work together to assist students in developing coping strategies to better manage stressors that can seem overwhelming. Social skills classes and extra-curricular activities encourage positive interactions among students both during and outside of school, often resulting in friendship that last through high school and into adult life.

Most importantly, the LGS community helps students develop positive self-esteem and confidence to determine and pursue their personal goals and interests.

For more on life at Linden Grove School, view online editions of Life Newsletters.

Mixed Feelings Mark May Graduation

Sad, excited, nervous. Sad, excited, nervous. These are some of the feelings expressed by this year’s graduates as they prepare to leave LGS and transition to high school.

One of our graduates has been enrolled at LGS since Kindergarten; others have been at LGS less than two years. Their favorite subjects range from math and science, to reading and social studies.

The one thing they all have in common? They will miss their friends and the time spent together in fun class activities, on field trips, or simply playing cards.

For more on life at Linden Grove School, view online editions of Life Newsletters

Activity-Based Learning Increases Understanding and Interaction

Activity-based classroom experiences not only aid understanding and comprehension but also encourage students to be more inquisitive and develop their own problem-solving skills. Such experiences also help student engagement at school and encourage positive interactions with classmates.

Left: Jack Peak and Liam Light learn about open and closed circuits — as well as parallel versus series circuits — using wires, light bulbs, switches and more. Right: In their study of Ancient Egyptian agricultural practices, 6-8 team students create soil models of basin irrigation systems and LEGO™ models of shadufs — hand-operated devices for lifting and distributing water. Left to right: Owen Berta, Sophia Wooten, Alex Berninger.

Cincinnati Restaurant Company Creates Valuable Experiences for LGS Students

LGS Applied Skills students are gaining valuable work and life experiences thanks to RGT Management, Inc., one of the largest restaurant companies in the Cincinnati market.

Each month, students travel to RGT Management offices to assist with mailings and other tasks, developing valuable skills in a typical office environment. In appreciation for the students’ time and effort, RGT often provides the students with restaurant coupons, creating opportunities for students to dine out in the community.

RGT also facilitated funding of an oven hood to enable the use of an oven in the school’s Applied Skills kitchen – a kitchen used to help students learn cooking and related skills.

Just as important, RGT is a great ambassador for LGS among its employees and in the community. As a sponsor of LGS’s Crazy Golf event, RGT engaged employees in preparing and serving food for event attendees. At the event, RGT employees and their family members interacted with families and kids with autism and other special needs, providing face painting, playing the Crazy Golf course, joining in the carnival games and more.

Top left: 6-8 team staff and students take advantage of a photo opportunity with Colonel Sanders during a visit to RGT Management offices. Jackson Ramsey (top right,) Bennett Grady (bottom) and other students travel to RGT once a month to assist with office tasks, gaining valuable work experience.

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