We have a daily schedule at the Greenhouse which runs from 11:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. We serve a light lunch shortly after the participants arrive. We then clean up and begin activities, etc. at 1:00pm.
Each of our counselors is in charge of certain areas of curriculum. They do at least one activity in each their areas per week. Every day we check the weather and look at our calendar to see what day it is. During the week we incorporate PE, Reading, Math, Science, Current Events, History, Life Skills, Computer Skills, and Cooking Classes plus more. Quite often we even manage to have fun and teach the participants all at the same time.
We have a “Goal Program” which helps each participant work on some area that they and their parents think they need to improve in. When they succeed in accomplishing their goal they earn a field trip to somewhere they would like to go.
During planting season our participants work in our greenhouse a couple of days a week. They are paid "Greenhouse Dollars" for the hours worked. Every other Friday they get to spend their money in our "Greenhouse Store." This is one of the most exciting things they have at the Greenhouse. This program was designed to help teach the benefits from working, earning and spending money while continuing to learn the skill of gardening.
Our participants go on a library outing twice a month where they get to check out books that are kept at the Greenhouse and then returned on their next visit to the Library. This gives them opportunity to be responsible for something on their own.
It is very rewarding to see our participants grow both mentally and socially all at the same time as they build such great bonds of friendship with the other participants and counselors. Along the way we hope they also learn many of the life skills that will make it possible for them to be more independent and responsible people in the everyday world. That is ultimately our goal!
About our participants
The participants at the Murray Greenhouse range from wheelchair bound individuals, requiring assistance in most tasks, all the way to very high functioning individuals who require very little assistance. Each participant is expected to follow simple directions and participate as a group with activities, projects and cleaning assignments. Cleaning helps them to feel they have ownership in and have pride in where they stay. They also are expected to show respect to the other participants and counselors at the Greenhouse. Participants are accepted based on availability and compatibility with existing students/staff as well as ability to help achieve the Murray Greenhouse Mission Statement. MGF reserves the right to deny a new participant that does not meet the criteria necessary. The Greenhouse does not have sufficient staff to offer one on one care or the ability to deal with severe behavior problems. The students enjoy a Counselor to Student Ratio of 7 to 1. Due to limited availability, participants are required to commit to specific days of attendance to enable us to have adequate staffing and supplies.
If you would like more information about The Murray Greenhouse Foundation and its mission (or find out how you can help our organization), please call Sheila Wall at 801 266-0669 or 819-8170 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.