Alyssa Scheinbein with Lexi, one of the children in her programs. [Alyssa Dopko, Exceptionally Edcuated/Facebook]
A local organization that works to help kids with learning exceptionalities learn about the world has expanded into some new programming.
Exceptionally Educated Exceptional Learners was created by Father Gorman seventh-grade teacher Alyssa Schienbein, and guides kids with exceptionalities wide range of topics, ranging from speech, motor functions and literacy to cleanliness and self-care.
Since starting the program, Schienbein has had people volunteer to put on programs, which she has welcomed both for the new experiences for kids and helping her still study for her Master’s Degree.
One of these programs is Horseback Riding with Equine Therapy Certified Kelsey Trach, which Schienbein says can have numerous benefits for kids with exceptionalities, which range from muscle building to anxiety reduction.
“It can help build the muscles children need to speak, so it’s really beneficial for children especially with Down’s syndrome who need to build that muscle to get the words out. It helps to feel a connection and it helps kids connect because horses have such a gentle nature.”
Another person who has signed on to help is local musician Jordyn Pollard, who will be hosting a Music & Me class. Pollard also reached out to put on the program, and Schienbein says this will run every Wednesday afternoon for six weeks, starting on the 30th.
“It’ll help them with their speech, repeating phrases, repeating songs, it can help them with memory because they’ll learn to memorize songs, finding rhythm, and connecting with others which is the most important part.”
Two other programs that Schienbein will have a hand in are the Saturday Dance Classes and Building Relationships Through Play Program with Lenora Hobbs, which allows kids to flex their creativity.
“Sometimes children with exceptionalities get used to parallel play, or structured play, and so they don’t know how to just play. With this program, it will teach children to just play with others and to learn how to inquire to different toys, find reasoning in different objects and to work together.”
Since starting the program earlier this year, she’s taken on 15 kids in her program. Daytime Respite is now run by Bonnie Marchak, another person with experience working with kids with exceptionalities.
People can find more information, sign up and find availability details on the Exceptionally Educated Exceptional Learners website.