February Student Life Staff of The Month

Our Student Life Staff of the month is Devin Snoddy!Devin Snoddy is the Dorm Parent for our girls dorm, Grandin Hall. She has swiftly proven her background in childcare and understanding of neurodiversity makes her an indispensable addition to our team this year. She...

February Academic Staff of the Month

Meghan Collins Morse is an exceptional Arrowsmith Instructor at Brehm Preparatory School, with over a decade of experience in supporting student growth both inside and outside the classroom. With her unwavering dedication and passion for helping students overcome...

January Academic Staff of the Month

Emerick Neitzer is our newest teacher at Brehm Preparatory School, shining a unique light on science concepts for our students.A veteran teacher in the Carbondale community, Emerick stepped into the Brehm family to teach environmental science, chemistry, biology, and...

Student Life Staff of the Month January

Our Student Life Staff of the month is Nolen BecK!Nolen Beck holds two roles within Student Life working actively with the recreation program and is an assistant dorm parent within Jenner Hall. Male role models who offer positive support for students greatly impact...

ELA Newsletter Week 14

It’s beginning to look a lot like finals... One of the most challenging parts of teaching English Language Arts and Literature classes at Brehm is the finals that encompass the end of the term before a long break (once in December before winter break and once in May...


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ELA Newsletter Week 15

Our Mission, to empower students with learning disabilities and differences to recognize andoptimize their potential throughout their lives, has been at the forefront of mymind over the past exciting and eventful twelve days.I am excited to confirm I have accepted the...

Director of Student Life for the Day

During Brehm’s 40th Anniversary Gala, Jace Nelson won the opportunity, through the silent auction, to serve in the role of Director of Student Life for the day.This past Saturday, Jace planned an enjoyable day for the students that allowed them to keep their cell...

Jingle All the Way!

Jingle All the Way! On Saturday morning, a motley crew of our students, faculty, administration, and their friends and family, went to two local assisted living facilities to sing Christmas carols and bring some holiday cheer to the residents there. The student core...

November Academic Staff of the Month

Barb Drew is the embodiment of the Brehm spirit and culture that reminds us that learning, though challenging, can be fun when you have someone who incorporates a strength-based caring approach that builds trust and rapport with students that allows her to tap into...

Reading in the Wild

Reading in the Wild

In his book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, Richard Louv writes: “In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.”

By and large many children, teenagers, and adults spend the majority of their time in rooms with artificial lighting, shoulders hunched or slouched over desks, viewing media on glowing screens, typing answers on computerized documents, or gaming. While each of these activities can be structured in a way that is meaningful and useful for a our development, knowledge of the world, and entertainment, there should be room and space made for disengaging from devices, returning to the use of more primitive writing tools (Gasp! Pencils and paper!), and for less structured reading and writing under the shade of a sought out tree, in the warmth of the sun, or by the edge of a creek, pond, or lake. As I plan for each week, I try to structure in opportunities throughout for students to listen, to work, or to leisurely read in one of the many beautiful spots on campus away from their computers.


Word Play activities are done with pen or pencil and traditional composition books.


A mixture of online and traditional reading materials are utilized so students can practice reading independently and use assistive tech.


Observation in outdoor spaces for writing and opportunities for reading in a camp chair, on the dock, or in the soft grass.

“Unlike television, nature does not steal time, it amplifies it. Nature offers healing for a child…Reading stimulates the ecology of the imagination.”

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

As the weather has cooled, these trips to various areas around our campus have increased and we will continue to use the Brehm Pond walking path, the trees by the creek, and our many outdoor seating areas to take a break from the traditional walls of my classroom. Giving students regular, purposeful excursions for observation of the environment, gives my students fodder for their writing prompts, wakes up their senses and energy for extended periods of sustained group or individual reading, and helps calm them during the more stressful times of the school year.

We will continue to do this even in the winter months as weather allows, so I encourage kids to dress for the weather everyday. This results in the development of students’ executive functioning skills when it comes to observing their environments and planning for what is to come.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you in a few weeks at Brehm Parents’ Weekend to discuss your child’s progress in person! Happy October!

If you would like to read more about the benefits of getting children (and ourselves) out into nature, check out Richard Louv’s book. If that seems too daunting, start here: https://childmind.org/article/why-kidsneed- to-spend-time-in-nature/


  •  Junior High English-Word Play (contra-, counter, -fy, -ful, port); Guardians of Ga’Hoole Chapter 1-3 Timeline Activity; Continued reading Guardians of Ga’Hoole; Outdoor reading of Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows
  • Language Arts-Word Play (contra-, counter, -fy, -ful, port); Reading a Prologue Activity; Notetaking Modeling; Began reading Tuck Everlasting; Outdoor reading of Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows
  • Literary Strategies- Word Play (contra-, counter, -fy, -ful, port); Continued reading Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes; Outdoor reading of Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows
  • Creative Writing-Idiom Word Play (in the same boat, flash in the pan, cooking with gas, take the bull by the horns) ; Menu Story Prompt-Adding elements throughout the week in preparation for our Story Arc Unit
  • Modern Literature- Word Play (contra-, counter, -fy, -ful, port); The Landlady Vocabulary Activity; Reading The Landlady by Roald Dahl, Watching The Landlady on Tales of the Weird (1970s); Reflection Paragraph comparing and contrasting Mary Maloney from Lamb to the Slaughter to The Landlady; Free choice reading outside


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