Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) has donated $5,000 to Monarch School of New England (MSNE) in Rochester in support of the school’s Horticultural Therapy and Gardening Program. The donation will be used to provide plants, seeds, compost bins, tools, and other supplies for the gardens.
In their nurturing environment, MSNE uses expertise in creative and occupational therapies, including work, art and activity-based learning to educate children with varying levels of intellectual, physical, medical and behavioral disabilities. The school’s Horticultural Program involves nature-based learning and therapy that occurs in a safe, accessible, and beautiful setting. A full-time registered horticultural therapist oversees the program, providing individual and small group therapy catered to each student’s goals, using gardening activities that integrate curricular themes and work-based learning principles.
Gardening boosts cognitive development by improving concentration, as well as physical development through the strengthening of muscles as they bend, lift, pull and stretch. Students have opportunities to work individually or as a team, are encouraged to ask questions and solve problems, and the natural setting helps improve moods and reduce stress.