A Garden Oasis For LA Area Special Needs Students - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

A Garden Oasis For LA Area Special Needs Students

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I've been around long enough to know that, sometimes, the smallest things can make the biggest difference in life. It's true, spending millions or even billions of dollars, if spent on something truly worthwhile, can work wonders. But occasionally you can find a project that costs relatively little money but provides incalculable benefits to those it's designed to help. One such project is what's known as a sensory garden for special needs children located on the campus of Commonwealth Elementary School in Fullerton, California.

Who knew that something as simple as a garden could be such a big deal? But apparently, for the special needs kids it's supposed to serve, it's a very big deal. First, a little background. The garden is the culmination of three years of planning and an estimated 200 hours of labor by 30 volunteers, including members of the Fullerton Cares Autism Foundation, Allianz Asset Management and the staff of Commonwealth Elementary.

The garden includes a "discovery house" for hands-on garden lessons, a bird sanctuary for observation of wildlife, various herbs and plants for the students to taste and smell and a host of other features. And the school plans to add even more great stuff later on. Special Education teacher Sue Pettinicchio says "I really believe our kids can learn anything other kids can learn, it's just finding the right way to teach them."

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about the garden is that it's located right in the middle of the school campus. That way, it can be enjoyed by all of the students, not just those with special needs. This was all made possible through community grants as well as donations totaling over $20,000. A pittance, considering the lives of generations of schoolchildren which may be immeasurably enriched as a result.

If you're interested in donating for the upkeep of the garden, just click on the Fullerton
Cares Facebook page HERE

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