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ADS Horticulture Program Takes Home National Honors
Posted On:
Thursday, January 25, 2018
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Almost a decade after the Horticulture program's conception, Archbishop Damiano School (ADS) received national recognition as the winner of National Association of Private Special Education Centers’ (NAPSEC) Award for Leadership and Innovation in Special Education for 2018.

This honor directly recognizes the strides Archbishop Damiano School is making in teaching sustainability in the classroom through both the Horticulture and 4-H program.

The Horticulture program was first created in 2008 to allow students the ability to reap the therapeutic and academic benefits of tending their own garden plots. It was also during this time that ADS chartered the first 4-H Club for students with disabilities in New Jersey.

Much of the program’s success is owed to its founder, curriculum coordinator and horticulture teacher Linda McHugh, and the countless volunteers who have dedicated their time to make this program what it is, today.

The award was presented at the 2018 NAPSEC Annual Leadership Conference, in which Linda McHugh received on behalf of the program.

ADS’s Horticulture program and 4-H Club have garnered tremendous success in teaching students with special needs how to grow, harvest and prepare nutritious food right in their own backyard with a focus on recycling and repurposing.

In addition, ADS’s 4-H Club host a number of projects, including sales to benefit the St. John of God Community Services Emergency Relief Fund, hosting a drive for the local animal shelter and creating upcycled holiday decorations for the annual Whitall House Holiday Tours.

Last May, Archbishop Damiano School (ADS) also received the Innovations for Special Education from both the NJSBA and ASAH.