Bringing Animal Education to Life!

• Garden of Spirits is a certified, 503 c3, non-profit organization that is based in Elkhart, Indiana, and we came about as a response to the need for alternative therapies to treat children struggling with a variety of issues including Emotional Disorders, impulse control, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attentive Deficit Disorder, and children of recovering addicts/alcoholics.
• We teach individual lessons at our residential location where children learn to address their issues by interacting with our unique population of domesticated Bengal cats, African Pygmy Hedgehogs, and Bearded Dragons.
• Students learn coping mechanisms through guided meditation, grounding techniques, and deep breathing exercises.
• Our second mission is to help children of all ability levels connect with our unique population of animals through Science standards-based Animal-Assisted Education Activities and Interventions.
• Our teachers bring our animals directly into elementary school classrooms where they teach interactive, hands-on, standards-based lessons 2nd Grade-4th Grade students.
• Classrooms can also participate in the classroom pet exchange where one of our bearded dragons will come live in the classroom while the animal lessons are being conducted and beyond if approved by building administrators.
• We will meet with each teacher and introduce them to their future pet and arrange times to conduct the lessons.
• We will bring in all the necessary supplies for the pet lizard and show the teacher how to take care of it and give them a care-giving manual.
• Finally, Garden of Spirits will bring in our animals and teach the lessons for a month period, 3 lessons a week.
• Students will take care of the lizard as a classroom job, learn about lizards and pygmy hedgehogs through hands-on activities such as hedgehog mazes, lizard food trials and a toy animal case study.

Funded by South Bend, IN (May 2020)