For the past eight years, I have been working at The F.U.S.E. (Foundations for Understanding Social Engagement) School, a therapeutic school in Lexington, MA. Our program serves children from preschool through 1st grade with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders, Anxiety, Language Disorders, and Sensory Processing Disorder.
Our kids and parents are truly amazing, each day they go above and beyond to connect, play, and learn in a group. Teachers facilitate play, collaboration, and sensory movement in the classroom all day. However, due to the pandemic, we now need outdoor classrooms and playground updates to go back to school safely.
The FUSE community is headed back to school this Fall! While many schools are supporting their students through remote learning, we have a unique opportunity, with small class sizes, to return to full in person learning. While remote learning is an option for many children during the pandemic, we have seen how difficult it can be for our children and families to feel successful with this form of learning. Families have been isolated and socialization through play has come to a halt. While some children have access to a backyard, not every child has a safe space to run, climb, pretend, and learn. We are all trying our absolute best to support our children at home, but there is no doubt the stress of living through this pandemic is directly impacting our children. Many feel anxious, isolated, and dysregulated. Our teachers know PLAY is the key to reducing stress, developing problem solving skills, as well as increasing feelings of social connection and beloning. That is why we are asking for your help to build an outdoor classroom and playground that will accommodate these needs.
We need play now more than ever! Play is not only the foundation for future classroom learning, but helps children develop the social skills and problem solving capabilities to be happy, healthy, and successful. Through play children build a sense of self, develop confidence, and strengthen peer connections. On playgrounds, kids learn to take safe risks, cooperate, and imagine together. Through play children gain sensory input needed to regulate themselves, and express and regulate their emotions.
This summer we have been hard at work building new outdoor classrooms so that we can open this fall! While many schools are opening in a limited capacity, we feel that in order to provide our children with social, emotional, and academic growth, we need to be with our students in person, full time.
With this money we plan to build a fence, create a sensory hill with climbing and sliding components, a sand box to facilitate sensory and imaginative play, a building area, as well as seven individual outdoor classrooms.
This is a big undertaking! Any donation will help us in our goal of keeping our doors open for our students and families.
Please take a moment to visit our website http://www.fuseprogram.com
Thank you for supporting FUSE any way you can! A donation of any amount is greatly appreciated to help us reach our goal of $30,000!