Monday, April 25, 2016

Recreational Education

At Sorenson’s Ranch School we understand that all learning does not take place in the classroom. We approach education with a more holistic perspective. We strive to expose our students to a wide variety of activities that they may or may not have participated in before. Some examples are: camping, fishing, cooking, hiking/exploring, horseback riding, ranch work and participation in organized sports leagues. Our staff routinely take groups of our students, who qualify by meeting behavior goals, off campus to participate in these activities. We see these activities as being beneficial for our students in a variety of ways. Just taken at face value, exposing our students to new activities, broadens their minds and thought processes in positive ways. When students become better acquainted with the world around them, they see and tend to think of all things differently. Many students find activities that specifically and even intimately appeal to them. Participation in these activities serves as a motivator to improve some of the behavior problems they may have exhibited in the past. These activities are natural and healing. Typical young people of similar ages participate in many of these activities outside of this concentrated setting. Outdoor activities are often lower stress in nature and allow our students to think and feel positively. Replacing old habits and thought processes with new activities has proven to be effective in helping our students “heal” from past experiences that have been less than appropriate or successful. Hands on learning opportunities seem to be the most successful for our students. Learning by doing allows our students to learn through all of the senses, which helps them to assimilate or “digest” the information and then remember the things they learn. Students are able to learn where they can see, hear, feel, smell, and in some cases taste, things in their immediate environment. Learning by doing also allows our students to create some positive memories with peers they can relate to, and to learn that there are positive things you can do with “leisure” time. It should be noted that at Sorenson’s Ranch School classroom education is important to us. We have a fully accredited high school on site, and our campus is conducive to learning. Our educational faculty occasionally add field trips to the classroom experience to better help our students understand what they learn. Our mission, through a variety of means, is to help our students understand where they are with regard to grade level expectations and to experience academic success, in many cases for the first time in their lives. Ross Franks

Commissioners Art Fair

In the month of April, Sevier County, which includes Salina, Richfield, and Monroe, as well as other small towns in the surrounding area, held an art contest for the Commissioners’ Art Fair at Snow College, Richfield Campus. I asked the students at Sorenson’s Ranch if they would like to participate, and there ended up being 35 participants from our school alone. In the whole county, there were over 350 participants. Four students from the ranch were chosen winners out of twenty-four overall winners. YAY!!!! Each student who won was given his/her own printed poster and a prize of $5.00 each. Donny Somers and I took fourteen boys and girls to the college to see the Art Fair. There were many different types of art, and the students got to vote on their favorite piece. The art work was produced by persons ranging in age from age three to age eighty. There were oil paintings, pastels, photography, pencil, watercolor, crayon, sculpture and anything else you can imagine. There are four art classes offered at Sorenson’s Ranch School: Art 1, Art 2, and Art 3 for the High school students; and a middle school art class. The kids in high school get a lot more in-depth and use all kinds of different mediums. The middle school students stick to basic skills to prepare them for high school. It is really important to encourage art in the students. Art fosters imagination, thought, and new skills. Some of the students think they don’t have talent, but when they find the right medium, they do amazing work. Next year we will again enter their art pieces in the Commissioners’ Art Fair to and see if they can win some more ribbons. After the fair, we took the kids to Ideal Dairy in Richfield, and they got to order slush with soft vanilla ice cream on top. They said they had never tried it before...only in Utah. Tina Somers Director of Special Education