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Brag Book: Reconnections Education Center offers unique education in New Port Richey

REConnections Education Center.jpg
Posted at 12:39 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 08:17:35-05

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — This week's Brag Book has a wide focus. It's on Reconnections Education Center.

Here, playtime is not only encouraged, it's celebrated.

The school is described as a therapeutic intervention in an academic setting. It's Kindergarten through 7th grade, with plans to add more grade levels in the future.

Dr. Joleen Fernald and Lilibel Bernhardt run the program, both are licensed therapists.

"Many families have experienced a lot of trauma in their regular school system. Many families, especially the kids we often see who are non-speaking, for many of our kids that have challenges with regulating and communicating side of things that I think the families, it's really hard for them to just drop their kids off and not really know what's going on throughout their day," explains Fernald.

The classrooms are anything but typical. There's a 3:1 ratio where students learn academics but also life skills.

"You see so many changes in the way the kids are communicating with you, communicating with each other. Kids who have never played with other kids before are initiating play in the sensory gym to play with other kids. so it really is incredible to see the explosion in language and just motor skills everything that's happening," says Fernald.

Click here for more details on their program.