March is recognized as National Nutrition Month, and with the beginning of the month comes the start of a new initiative at Wildwood.

Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) is a nationwide effort to promote awareness and change in the areas of eating and exercise. Wildwood Schools adopted the initiative for the first time in 2014, with the hopes of improving nutritional habits and increasing physical activity for students. The focus was placed on educating students about choices they could make in the areas of nutrition and exercise, and how healthy habits can be beneficial in all aspects of life. With HEAL in place, the school began to provide regular physical activities and increase the amount of healthy food choices available. A walking club started, where participants are recognized and awarded for the amount they walk, access to a track and greenhouse was created as a way to provide additional healthy activities.

With the success of HEAL at the school, it was decided to bring rest of Wildwood in on the initiative. The new push will focus on reaching residences, staff members, and programs that haven’t previously been involved. To kick it off, a competition has been put in place for people to test their knowledge, educate themselves through nutrition-based games, and share how they stay active and eat healthy. Through creating this fun, competitive environment, the hope is for people to recognize the healthy choices that they’re already making – and what potential changes can be made in the future.\

Though awareness is the primary goal, recognizing choices and change is just as important. Things like: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cutting down to 4 cans of soda a day from 5, substituting olive oil for butter when cooking, or eating fresh vegetables instead of canned…all of these can be beneficial. A path started with a few small steps can lead to a big success.

Despite National Nutrition Month being the catalyst for the HEAL kickoff, the potential for this initiative remains boundless, even after March is over.

Watch the HEAL Kickoff Video!

Staff at Wildwood often come up with their own inventive, interesting ways to teach new skills and help problem-solve different challenges an individual may face. Last month, two members of the residential staff — Ashley Cook and Leslie Malloy — recognized that one of the residents they supervised did not fully understand the difference in what to do when a fire drill occurred vs. when there was an actual fire. So, they teamed up to help educate the individual in a different way.  

Last week, Wildwood's Director of Adult Education Melinda Burns —along with adult education teacher Diane Teutschman and student Marcie DeCerbo, visited the Carla Page Show. 

The group discussed how Wildwood helps people "live their best lives" through the adult education program and other various supports. 

You can watch the full interview by clicking here!

Wildwood's Music Therapy program was recently featured on the morning segment of News10, Wake Up With 10, when reporter Ben Ryan joined music therapists Amy Myers and Jeff Starace to learn more about the practice and benefits of music therapy. 

Amy and Jeff showcased some of the individual and group activities that happen within the classroom — and music studio!  — at Wildwood School. These activities include playing the piano, singing along to popular, familiar songs, and gathering a group around a big table drum. Music activities are typically catered to individual needs, with the goal to match where someone is at emotionally. The sounds can provide a sensory stimulation or calming effect, the songs themselves can help with language skills, and group activities can improve social skills. 

To watch clips from the broadcast, and to learn more, check out:

If you're looking for some sensory-friendly activities, check these out! It is always a good idea to call ahead to make sure of scheduling.

Regal Cinemas does movies twice a month. They are showing a sensory-friendly version of "Kung Fu Panda" on March 5. Call for times.

Bowtie Cinemas schedules showings from time to time. Visit their website for updates.

Adrenaline Trampoline will have their next special needs night on 3/17.

The Museum of Science and Technology has a Sensable Science day on 2/23.

This site regulary updates sensory-friendly events in the area. 




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