Kindness and compassion go a long way. This much was plainly evident when Waupaca FFA in Wisconsin created an Adaptive Agriculture course to bring cognitive disability borderline/severe (CDB/S) students into a classroom setting to nurture their academic, social and personal successes.
An agriscience teacher created a class with the assistance of two CDB/S instructors, two aides and 20 Waupaca FFA members, who provided one-on-one instruction to 16 CDB/S students. A curriculum and a syllabus were developed using fourth-grade state agricultural education science and math standards. FFA members assisted students with reading, sign language and math, and 12 interactive activities were used to enhance the students’ problem-solving and sequential skills.
When the program was completed, the CDB/S students were tested and evaluated, and the CDB/S teachers reported a 10 percent increase in their abilities. Waupaca FFA members gained a great deal of appreciation for these hard-working students and were proud to be involved with such a meaningful program.
Waupaca FFA was a finalist in the 2010 National Chapter Models of Innovation awards program in the area of Student Development.