The Class of 2032 is immersed in a unique learning environment during a visit to SMART Farm in Manatee County.
ODA’s Pre-K classes recently visited SMART Farm, a unique farm that provides therapeutic equine programs for people with special needs. Interacting with the horses at the farm provided a rich learning experience that celebrated authentic and multi-sensory opportunities for our students. As the students participated in hands-on activities—which included daily barn chores, and grooming, feeding, and leading the therapy horses—ODA’s youngest class built their animal husbandry and leadership skills while providing service to the farm.
Upon their return to Out-of-Door, the classes’ follow-up activities included creating a thank you card in support of our early literacy and reading program. The personalized cards expressed each students’ gratitude, and were filled with photographs and written memories. Each student also illustrated and labeled their favorite parts of the day on the horse farm in their writing journals, which in turn, enriched the skills of concentration, memory, creativity, and language.
In our inclusive Pre-K classrooms, students are taught to nurture a love and respect for community, family, nature, and the environment. Through authentic hands-on learning that embraces arts integration, outdoor experiences, and real-world opportunities, our ODA faculty continue to find new ways to inspire, motivate, and engage our students. The field trip and follow-up activities helped further enhance essential skills for this developing age group.