Programs for Students with Special Needs
The article “Gardening with Children with Special Needs” from the National Gardening Association identifies several benefits for all students, including those with special needs:
- 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.
- Gardens provide hands-on experiences that allow students to see cause-and-effect relationships.
- The beauty of a garden and the rewards of harvest provide positive intrinsic 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.
Happening Now in the Children's Garden
See what events and activities children with special needs can get involved with.