Popp’s Ferry Elementary building sensory garden

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Popp’s Ferry Elementary has been awarded a $3,000 grant to build a sensory garden for their special education class.

Although the benefits of the new sensory garden will be applied to all students, it is targeted to provide sensory relief for children with disabilities.

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After a two year long process and a few delays due to COVID-19, the first build day will be hosted this Saturday, September 12th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The project has an abundance of support from Church of the King, Home Depot, and many other people and businesses who provided help and funds to make this possible.

Crystal James, the administrative assistant and mother to an autistic child, led the project and had this to say. “I wanted a place that our students here could benefit from where maybe kids who don’t have an autistic brother or sisters, they might see other kids that might maybe interact differently than them and maybe it will build some empathy and compassion as they grow, they’ll see other kids that don’t interact like they do.”

The elementary school will also be constructing a sensory meteorology station soon with another $3,000 grant provided by Sparklight.

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Gabrielle Cox is native to Hammond, Louisiana where she attended grade school, high school, and college. Gabrielle was an all district athlete for the girls soccer team at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. After high school, she went on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a minor in Spanish at Southeastern Louisiana University. She was a reporter and anchor for the Southeastern Channel where her and her team received a number of awards, including a Suncoast Emmy for a live football game broadcasted by ESPN+ in which she was the sideline reporter. Gabby has had a life full of traveling and is blessed to have family placed all over the world. However, the aspect that makes Gabby standout is that she has a brother with Autism and that is nonverbal. Gabby plays a huge part in the role of her brother’s life and quotes that she would not be the person she is today if it was not for him.

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