by Angela Shelly
In The Friendship Academy, we like to display our friends’ art proudly! Last week our friends created buses for letter B, and cupcakes for letter C using dot markers for sprinkles. Our friends love to see their artwork displayed on our art wall!
When our friends created their B-B-Buses, they practiced using their fine motor skills and memories as they used a glue stick to place wheels and stop signs on the buses. They used their memories and imaginations to remember what color a school bus is (even our friends who don’t take the school bus yet!) and where the wheels go. Our friends got to use dot markers to decorate C-C-Cupcakes during C-week, and practiced writing the letter “C.” They also practice writing the letter of the week on the iPad, white boards, and several other mediums. Our student teacher in The Friendship Academy likes to have the children say the sound of the letter of the week as an “exit ticket” to finish up circle time in the mornings! Our friends are truly becoming masters of the letters of the alphabet!
Each week in The Friendship Academy in Montgomery County, we practice a new letter of the alphabet! Our friends are getting better and better at recognizing words that start with the letter of the week. We work together to create a long list of words that start with the letter of the week. Then, two friends get to pick a word for our Word Wall. We learn the ASL sign for those words, and practice the words and their signs throughout the week! Any visitor to The Friendship Academy would find that our friends are masters of the ASL signs for our word wall words: airplane, apple, ball, boy, cat, and cloudy.
The Friendship Academy is an amazing program where all children play to learn. This unique program provides an excellent early childhood education program with a research-driven and enriched curriculum in a child-friendly and safety-oriented setting.
The Friendship Academy is an inclusive program, which means that children with disabilities learn side-by-side with their typically developing peers. The benefit to the children with disabilities is the opportunity to model their peers. The benefits to the typically developing children are many. Some of the program features include; “Handwriting Without Tears”, an eco-science experience with a greenhouse/garden, music instructor, arts and crafts, iPad technology and a library and book loan program.
We have created a video that gives you first-hand look at how the program is impacting families.
by Sue Lowenstein
As many of you may already know, the Bucks Division has expanded programming to include typically developing children in our new Friendship Academy classroom!
One thing we can say for sure about all of the children at Easter Seals is that they love to play in our gym. The children from our APS program head to the gym to work on their gross motor and play skills, and nothing is more motivating than playing with their new friends from Friendship Academy.
It is always nice to take a break from the classroom and expend some energy moving and grooving in the gym. Under the guidance of Sue Lowenstein, Physical Therapist, and with the help of several staff including Laura Dettore, Teacher, our kids explored lots of fun equipment such as our moon bounce, our large colored barrel, our wooden rocking boat, our indoor slides, and much much more!!! Smiles and laughter are heard all around!
Sue Lowenstein is a part time physical therapist who has been employed with Easter Seals of SEPA – Bucks County Division since 2001. She is a resident of Levittown who is busy raising and playing with her own 3 daughters when she is not having fun at work!