When Joey Leese, a Boy Scout from the Rockford area, who is working towards his Eagle Scout Badge, contacted Easterseals, we were delighted. He spearheaded the creation of an accessible vocational garden at Easterseals Academy in Machesney Park.
After securing a grant and raising additional money for tools and plants through fundraising, the garden broke ground in front of the school this past spring. “The garden was set up to give the post-secondary students different opportunities to work many different jobs. From planting and transplanting, weeding, and watering, the students will also get to work on harvesting later in the growing process," said Mike Goodwin garden coordinator and teacher at Easterseals. "We even hope to sell the fruit, vegetables, and flowers."
Vocational studies play an important role in Easterseals Academy curriculum, providing students opportunities to work in our café and onsite button making business, HarrysButtons.com. The garden offers just one more unique opportunity to develop new aptitudes. Classes enjoy coming out to the garden and take pride in their work. Easterseals teachers use the garden as a hands-on tool, to teach students many different life skills throughout the summer. This new addition will continue to bloom but our favorite part is how much our students bloom with it!