ROCHESTER -- Meredith Village Savings Bank has donated $5,000 to Monarch School of New England 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 its nurturing environment, the school 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.
"Without programs like Monarch School of New England, these children might not otherwise be given the opportunities to participate in these types of learning experiences," said James Carrigan, assistant vice president, branch and business development manager for the bank's Portsmouth office. "We are very proud to show our support for their work with this contribution."
"We are so incredibly thankful for our community partners like MVSB," said Diane Bessey, executive director of Monarch School of New England. "This generous support provides the supplies needed to individualize a variety of therapeutic programs for our students - giving them opportunities to develop new skills and realize their greatest potential."