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Kradwell School breaks ground on Learning Garden

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wauwatosa, Wis. — Sunscreen and garden gloves will be at the top of each Kradwell student’s supply list next year as they dig into the school’s new learning garden.

A recent groundbreaking ceremony kicked off construction of the Learning Garden at Kradwell, an environmentally sustainable urban outdoor classroom. The garden is expected to be open for the next school year.

“The gardens will provide the rich, natural environment essential to the development of inner confidence and impulse control,” says Mark Bialzik, Kradwell principal, “These tools are key to empowering our students to direct their own learning and find success in their lives.“

Kradwell School, based on the Aurora Psychiatric Hospital campus, enrolls fifth- through 12th-grade students who have been unsuccessful in the traditional school setting. Students include those with learning and emotional disabilities, as well as gifted and talented children. The children represent more than 30 southeastern Wisconsin school districts.

The connection between education and the natural environment is essential, says landscape architect, Brian Boeding, principal of Paragon Design Group and designer of the gardens.

“Technological advancements have given rise to multiple teaching media options.” Boeding says. “However, these provide only two-dimensional images that cannot be touched, smelled or even seen in their relative size.”

The Aurora Health Care Foundation raised $350,000 for the gardens through private donations from individuals, foundations and businesses.

“This is a work integrating the head, hands and heart,” says Dr. Anthony Meyer, medical director, Aurora Psychiatric Hospital. “Many people came together to give of their time, expertise and, yes, dollars, to create this extraordinary environment.”

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of care. Aurora provides care at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and Illinois.

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Contact: Myrle Croasdale
Phone: 414-389-2210

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