Last fall, Autism Pensacola presented a grant opportunity to its 2015 Kids for Camp lead teachers. Six camp lead teachers wrote for and were awarded grants for programs that were implemented during the 2015-16 school year. In June, reports were received that detailed how the grants were used.
One of the grant recipients was Aileen Ilano, who is now the Capstone Academy-Pensacola principal. Her grant funds were used funds to create a sensory garden at Capstone. Aileen said, “The area was transformed from a rarely used space to a colorful place where the kids participated and enjoyed the outdoors together.”
Another garden project was created by Kelly Walker and her students at Sims Middle School. The garden was put together, piece by piece, by the students. They plant- ed cucumbers, watermelon, carrots, and flowers. Kelly used the physical activity of creating a garden to teach social skills and academic skills. She said that when she taught the students about the need to give plants space to grow, she was able to tie that lesson back to how we each need our own personal space.
Alexis Quick, an inclusion teacher at Sherwood Elementary, enriched her class’s math workshop time. Alexis says, “Our children love and need hands-on activities to help them truly engage in math, and that is what you gifted to us.”
API is continuing this tradition in 2016. All camp lead teachers will be receiving information soon about the grant opportunity!