We don’t do things to people or for people. We do things with people and then watch them do it themselves.
At Meristem we offer a wide range of classes that satisfy a diversity of interests, all of which enhance Executive Functioning skills such as:
- Organizing, planning and prioritizing
- Completing tasks
- Regulating emotions
Students develop these critical skills through planning and completing tasks, experiencing success, confronting failure, and reflecting upon the process. These skills are directly transferable towards their long-term goals such as employment, attending college, and/or successful independent living,
Students gain practical work skills by taking inventory, fulfilling online orders, helping customers, answering calls, preparing orders to ship, and reconciling the cash register.
Students learn hands-on work experience through grounds-keeping, landscape and maintenance work, event support, campus projects, and the use of power tools.
Students develop tactile sensitivity by transforming soft clay into a fired and finished piece. Through this process students rely on their kinetic awareness to give them information about the form, texture and thickness of the piece they are creating.
Our Culinary Arts program is made up of three classes for different skill levels. Students generalize these skills to prepare and serve meals in the dorms and at home.
Culinary Arts: Students execute basic culinary concepts including safe working practices, use and handling of culinary tools and equipment, nutrition, reading and following recipes, measuring, cooking and preparing food, and food storage/handling.
Bakery: Students experience a wider range of roles in the kitchen. Working together, they learn about ingredients, techniques, and scheduling.
Café: Students prepare a meal and plan menus, and use a range of produce harvested from our garden. Students serve food to the community and work in a busy kitchen, serve food, and receive customer feedback. Students practice rectifying mistakes, and adapting recipes to address tastes or dietary needs.
Offered on campus at our forge and offsite at the Folsom Museum forge, students learn proper heating and shaping techniques for metal work.
Meristem partners with Sacramento Art Glass to provide glass blowing sessions for our students. Students master the properties of glass, and achieve focus as they make a range of objects including paperweights, plates, bowls, glasses and vases.
Students collaborate to create healthy garden-based products that promote self-care and focus on process. Working with natural ingredients sourced from our garden, herbs and essential oils, the Herbal Arts products inspire a sense of wellbeing and may be given as gifts or sold. Students develop diverse business skills as they produce, market and sell their product line.
* Temporarily paused, due to Covid | Students run the on-campus Bard Bed and Breakfast. Students conduct cleaning routines, take reservations, greet guests, prepare breakfast, and manage budget, costs, and income.
Students engage in a range of activities on our three-acre biodynamic farm. Students manage the care of soil, compost, seeds, annual/perennial crops, pastures and orchards. Students engage in our seed-to-plate curriculum which allows them to see where their food comes from and to collaborate with Culinary Arts students to transform fresh produce into a nutritious meal.
Students work with copper to create bowls, bracelets, ladles and hooks. Students are shown how the uniform, unbroken hammering of a simple area teaches them to be exact and accurate. Bending copper with hand tools develops a feeling for form and symmetry.
Students attend individual and large group lessons in Transformational Movement. Students guide themselves through a progression of neurologically beneficial movements, cooperative movement conversations, and body awareness activities. Students practice grounding and flow. Students develop spatial orientation and integration.
In the navigation/orienteering class students develop a sense of self, a sense of place, critical thinking skills and physical fitness through the activity of navigating with a map and a compass. We take the principles of navigational skills and learn how to use them in a variety of environments that we all move through in life. Students develop the confidence to move into any environment and find their way.
Visual art is an invaluable tool for communicating as it transcends language barriers. Our Visual Communications class encourages students to communicate and share their personal voice through non-verbal means. Students learn the technical aspects of photography and apply them to class assignments and personal projects that may include cyanotypes, collage, book-making and traditional photography.
Students challenge themselves by increasing their level of stamina and strength, improve coordination and balance, build resilience, and concentration. Classes train and/or certify students in cycling, cycling maintenance and first aid/CPR. Students plan, train for and execute field trips that strives to be a completely self-powered, self-managed and self-sufficient adventure from start to finish.
PEERS is an evidence-based group program created by UCLA for individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental differences related to social challenges through group lessons, social coaches, role playing, examples and practical lessons.
Students hone skills and executive functioning by planning, prioritizing, and self-monitoring. Students work with greenwood to create candle holders, spoons, spatulas, bowls, stools, coat racks. Students master basic tools, materials, and safety.
Students master new workplace skills and reinforce previously learned skills such as communication, positivity, dependability, punctuality, responsibility, professional attire, etiquette, and confidence. Students practice skills through role play, during which they may videotape a workplace social scenario or interview for constructive review. Students work towards self-awareness in relation to interests, abilities, values and skills, career-awareness to learn what career opportunities exist and what is required to pursue them, teamwork, problem-solving, presentation skills, job search skills such as resume writing, job application and portfolio preparation, and interviewing.