Therapeutic Educational Programs Complement Classroom Academics
Green Chimneys School academics are complemented by age-appropriate, therapeutic educational programs offered to all grade levels as part of the weekly class schedule. Many incorporate Green Chimneys’ unique nature-based approach, providing experiential learning and opportunities to develop important skills related to the care of and interaction with animals, plants and the environment. High School students earn 1/4 elective credits for these courses.
The activity goals of the aquatics program are coordination, flexibility, stamina, cardiovascular strength, confidence, increased self-esteem and enjoyment of physical activity in water as a life-supporting skill. Course design encourages water safety, hygiene, healthy teamwork competition, cooperation and fair play. Students are taught swimming skills and develop communication skills as they learn to compete individually.
In art class, the creative process is supported through the teaching of artistic skills, color usage, and perspective, and the development of a personal point of view. Safety, discipline and proper tool and material usage characterize the type of class where self-expression is encouraged through the use of various artistic media. Units are designed to familiarize students with well-known artists, art movements and the role of art in society.
The Green Chimneys Horse Barn operates on a trimester basis, offering students the opportunity for individual assistance and guided group interaction with equines in a small class setting. Interested students learn to work in harmony and kindness with an animal and benefit from the experience of an exciting physical sport. The goal of this elective is to teach students to recognize and practice how to put safety issues first around horses; recognize and provide for the needs and care of a horse; develop conscientious handling techniques for an animal larger than themselves; and acquire basic riding skills for recreational sport. Enhancement of social skills and appropriate behavior are encouraged through the exploration of how horses behave in general, relate to one another and mirror the human emotions around them.
The foundation for each unit in the curriculum is to understand animal behavior and the dependence of domesticated animals on humans for their most basic needs and survival, and learn to recognize the needs of each living creature. Using an interactive approach, students learn responsible animal stewardship. Farm Science is specifically designed to address the needs of diverse learners through a combination of inquiry-based classroom education, lab and hands-on activities. The core of this class places an emphasis on Animal-Assisted Activities (AAA) and guided physical and intellectual discovery.
Students in this program are offered the opportunity to participate in the Companion Animal or Large Animal 4-H Fair competitions where they travel off-campus and work with participants from other Putnam County 4-H clubs. Green Chimneys 4-H Students develop enhanced understanding of the biological and environmental aspects of farm life, gain a sense of responsibility while caring for another living thing, and develop public speaking skills.
Through effective classroom activities, this course combines functional knowledge and health education social skills. Functional knowledge is presented in the context of potential risks and consequences of various health-related behaviors. Students consider how information and issues impact their own life, as well as the lives of those around them. Health education social skills include decision-making, communication, refusal skills, and relationship and self-management skills, with the goal of achieving health literacy.
An integrated approach to horticulture and gardening connects plants to human health and personal well-being and promotes social and life skills that enhance the personal development of students. The core of the horticulture curriculum revolves around plant anatomy, scientific aspects of plant propagation, the role of plants as human food and the significance of plants to human health and the environment. Students observe and vocationally support the plant life cycle from seed to harvest with a heavy focus on vegetables, herbs, and fruits. During the spring, summer, and fall seasons, the campus organic garden serves as an experiential learning site for this elective; classes move into the campus greenhouse during the winter months.
The Green Chimneys Library provides students with a venue in which they can become proficient in accessing and benefitting from the intellectual property of society through the use of books, magazines, videos, online access of information and other resources as they steer the course of research and inquiry. This course encourages self-expression, the development of interest areas and the use of research materials in support of other school-based courses and projects