Get Out Program

 

Outdoor education enriches our curriculum by allowing the process of learning to take place outside. Our Get Out Program provides another critical arena in which learners get to practice developing ownership of our Four Core Goals. It also enables learners and professional educators to interact in an environment free from the limitations of the classroom.

Even when we served our students on two separate campuses—which offered limited access to the outdoors—we found creative ways to provide our students with outdoor education. Through various partnerships, we were able to:

 

  • Research, build and maintain a pond
  • Establish trails in adjacent woods
  • Obtain a long-term contract with the Houston Zoo to maintain their butterfly garden
  • Take students on quarterly outdoor camping and field trips
  • Secure service contracts with the Texas Department of Environmental Quality and the Texas Stream Team to perform water testing and monitoring in the Spring Branch streams and bayous
 
 
Moving to our new campus gave us a great opportunity to further establish our Get Out Program. Now, we build and maintain vegetable and flower gardens, as well as weather- and water-monitoring stations. We propagate and sustain the habitats that encourage wildlife to share our campus—from trees to butterfly-attracting milkweed. In addition, we are reforesting the land, support hands-on carpentry and construction projects, and stage literacy productions. For our next projects, we intend for students, faculty and community volunteers to:
  • Help construct a therapy studio, using only recycled or reclaimed materials and the expertise of an environmental designer
  • Build several ponds for water retention and biological science purposes
  • Continue participating in the reforestation of our property—for carbon sequestration, energy-shading conservation, water retention and life sciences instruction that re-establish wildlife habitats
  • Establish a large terraced garden—for the planting of native Texas grasses and plants, food production, water retention, waste recycling, beautification and botanical instruction
  • Demonstrate wind energy harvesting, solar energy, compost toileting and water-testing projects as outreach activities from the outdoor science pavilion
  • Invite other schools, both public and private, to access our outdoor classroom for environmental education purposes

We are thrilled that, through our Get Out Program, the greater community will see the work of our students in the outdoors— demonstrating the powerful strengths and compensatory skills of our students. The more the world sees the competence of individuals with neurological challenges, the more the world will welcome their participation and contribution.