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Spring semester at The Graham Academy is as full of activity as the budding trees in our area. The students face their upcoming projects with excitement and curiosity as their favorite events and activities are planned for March, April, and May. With the warming temperatures outside, the adventures inside the school are just taking off.

The most delectable event, World Discovery Day, was held at the end of March this year. The students learned about various countries around the world, their culture, and their cuisine. Traveling from classroom to classroom with their passports, every student had the opportunity to explore a little bit of each country and experienced a traditional dish that was made by the students themselves. Bringing culture into the curriculum has proven to be a very rewarding experience for all students. They look forward to it all year long.

After traveling the world, The Graham Academy headed right into World Autism Awareness Day which is acknowledged annually on April 2􀀀nd􀀀. Having a specific day to celebrate our AMAZING students was a positive experience for the entire staff and student body. For some individuals with Autism, expressing themselves could be more difficult than it seems. This fun event was able to show how each student sees themselves and their peers. Using ‘I am’ and ‘We are’ statements, the students and staff were able to articulate the kind, funny, smart, and interesting characteristics of each other. Awareness can be in any form. The Graham Academy prides itself on seeing the student as an individual instead of a stereotype.

The focus then gets real with the intensity of THE SCIENCE FAIR. The projects all tied into Earth Day, which was celebrated on April 22nd this year. From different kinds of osmosis and sustainability to biodiversity and insects, the students poured their energy into their projects. Presenting their hard work to the families at the science fair was rewarding to the students, staff, and parents. The Graham Academy has established gardens at both the elementary school and the high school. All projects that were intended for the gardens were transported and installed the last week in April.

The experiential learning included in events like World Discovery Day and the Science Fair provide students with multiple opportunities to get their hands dirty and experience activities that may not be typically provided in other educational settings. Trying new foods, learning a traditional Panamanian dance, and studying the habitats of all the creatures in the garden are just a few ways The Graham Academy helps students learn in ways that are tailored to them. Providing positive and prideful experiences for the students, The Graham Academy encourages all the students to be self-aware and have value within themselves.

The mission at The Graham Academy is to educate students living with Autism and students living with emotional challenges to excel in life through communication, exploration, opportunity, acceptance, accountability, and ambition. For more information about The Graham Academy or to schedule a tour, visit the website at www.thegrahamacademy.com or follow The Graham Academy on Facebook (thegrahamacademynepa), Instagram, and Twitter.