Developing a horticulture program in a group home. Advice?
Hi folks, my name is Lauren, and I've just registered. I'm a house counselor in a group home/homeless shelter in Mass, and I'm trying to develop a therapeutic horticulture group for the kids (I work with kids 6-12 who have behavioral/emotional/developmental problems). What I'm looking for is general advice, project ideas, and any resources you may know of that could help. I've been trying to get local businesses to donate supplies, but haven't had much luck. We have a VERY limited budget, as we are non-profit. We're also working with limited space (a vary small back yard, and a heavily shaded side yard with sandy soil). I want to be able to utilize window boxes and containers like barrells and large pots, as well as a few small raised beds in the back yard and some indoor plants.
Please keep in mind that many of the kids I work with have some developmental delays, are medicated, or have difficulty controlling themselves when frustrated. Challenging them is good - but too complicated is likely to blow up in my face :). Also, they aren't allowed to use sharp tools because of the danger of them hurting themselves or others.
Does anyone have suggestions or advice they could share? Any help is greatly appreciated. I'm very excited about creating this program, and I feel that it'll be a very positive experience for the children, if only I can get it up and running!
Thanks in advance :)