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Adaptive Music and PE Classes at Northwood Benefit From MISF Grant

Adaptive Music and PE Classes at Northwood Benefit From MISF Grant
MISD Communications

Mercer Island, WA, April 21, 2023 - The Northwood Elementary Adaptive Music and PE classes are grateful for a generous grant from the Mercer Island Schools Foundation (MISF) for pentatonic xylophones, Joia tube instruments, and adaptive bowling balls.

These classes are tailored to the needs of the students attending the class, and are implemented and designed by Adaptive Music and PE teacher Angela Carey, Physical Therapist Nicole Nelson, and Speech Language Pathologist Kris LaFramboise.

Students play xylophones in Angela Carey's class at Northwood

Adaptive PE is physical education which has been adapted or modified, so that it’s as appropriate for the person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability. This class is guided by physical therapy and IEP goals, and focuses on: sensory processing, motor planning, strength and endurance, gross motor development, communication and socializing (such as working with a partner or in a whole group, waiting turns, following a peer, eye contact), and learning basic games.

Carey determined that adapted bowling balls will aid students in developing the general education PE skill of underhand throwing, as well as allow students to be successful during the general education PE bowling unit. This game also allows practice for turn taking and gross motor skills.

Adaptive Music utilizes the activities of singing, dancing and instrument playing to work on expressive and receptive communication skills (especially CORE words), social skills, gross and fine motor skills, kinesthetic awareness, improving attention span, and following multi-step directions. These skills are practiced in a fun and engaging manner with the use of music.

Carey determined that students require instruments that allow them to be successful and that are easy to play. The Joia tubes can be played standing up or while in a wheelchair. Both the Joia tubes and xylophones are designed with a specific scale that allows for no “wrong” notes. This helps students to feel safe to experiment with self-expression and build a sense of confidence. Through music, a student can express their emotions, develop their communication and ensemble skills, and benefit from auditory and tactile stimulation.

“The highly accessible instruments allow for all students to participate fully in an ensemble. The bowling balls provide an adaptable grip that's easy for any student to use,” said Carey.

“Student engagement in the Adaptive Music and PE classes has increased due to these grant items from MISF,” continued Carey.

The Mercer Island Schools Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) public service, non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the quality of education provided to ALL Mercer Island School District students by obtaining contributions for the public schools.

Started in 1981, the Foundation has raised over $26 million thanks to the generous community.

Since its founding, the Foundation has become the catalyst for the Mercer Island community to guarantee every teacher has access to the most up-to-date, innovative educational materials that guarantee exceptional teaching and learning experiences for every student.

The tremendous success of the organization lies in the simple fact that the Mercer Island Schools Foundation was born in a community that places value on quality education. Learn more about the impact of our community’s commitment to education.

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