|SARASOTA – The Junior League of Sarasota recently provided a $4,000 grant to create an outdoor classroom for preschool students attending Starfish Academy at The Florida Center for Early Childhood. The funds were used to purchase special equipment designed to improve the students’ emotional and physical development. Starfish Academy, an inclusion preschool where typically developing children learn alongside those with developmental delays and/or disabilities, specializes in implementing innovative educational techniques. Learning outdoors in the fresh air can ease anxiety and improve overall mental health in all children, especially those with special needs.
|Through the grant, students received new tricycles to improve strength and coordination; an outdoor paint station to foster creativity and self-expression; a playhouse to encourage dramatic and collaborative play; and an outdoor reading nook to encourage social-emotional development. “The outdoor classroom is a wonderful and fun tool we can use to help our students reach their full potential,” said Susan Carney, director of Starfish Academy. “It’s a great way to stimulate learning and important social interaction in the children.”
|About The Florida Center for Early Childhood For more than 40 years, The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been the leading provider of therapeutic services, early education and healthy development for young children in southwest Florida, offering a seamless delivery of services for the whole child and their family. Today, the agency is nationally recognized for its early childhood expertise in a variety of specialties. The Florida Center provides developmental therapies, mental health counseling, Starfish Academy preschool, the Healthy Families home-visiting program, and the state’s only Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders clinic.
For more information, visit www.thefloridacenter.org or call 941-371-8820.