Did you ever stop to think about all the different senses we use to experience and learn about animals and the world around us? I recently had the incredible opportunity to help develop curriculum for and present summer camp lessons to students at the Louis Braille School, which serves children with vision impairment and special challenges. After hours of brainstorming, curriculum writing, and even blindfolding ourselves, my co-educator and I could not have been more thrilled with the results of our unique presentation.
The children were able to experience different ways they can appreciate, learn about and help animals with the use of sounds, touch and scent. It really made me think of a lot of different ways I experience things. For instance, hearing a bird chirp, the scent of ripe strawberries, or petting my dog.
There were so many delightful moments that touched me. I will never forget bringing my therapy dog Abby to visit the campers. As I observed one camper carefully touch her soft ears, wet nose, and curly tail, he suddenly exclaimed, “She’s beautiful!” It warmed my heart to know he felt her beauty. It also reaffirmed that like all kids, these children have an inherent love of animals.
We were thrilled to team up with Louis Braille School and wholeheartedly agree with their director Carolyn Meyer, that when we focus on people’s abilities, they produce amazing results. It’s hard to explain, but if you check out these photos, maybe you’ll understand what I felt.
Using a tub filled with water, trash and food that wild animals find in their natural habitat, I explain to Brett the importance of not polluting.
PAWS educator, Sandy, guides Christopher hands over a pair of Great Horned Owl wings.
Sandy helps Brett create a pinecone enrichment item to donate to the animals at the PAWS Wildlife Center.