MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – A week after renovations began, Design for a Difference volunteers are making progress in a nonprofit area.

This year, the community movement benefits the school program of the Common Threads Family Resource Center, a school program that serves students with autism or neurodivergency.

The 5,500 square foot space is designed with Common Threads students in mind. Volunteer and interior designer Joy Pontrello specializes in biophilic design, which aims to bring nature indoors. Pontrello said this concept could be particularly calming for students in the program.

“There’s so much evidence that bringing nature indoors for schools has increased test scores, reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, it’s really phenomenal, so kids with autism, you know , having a calming environment is just essential and an environment in which they can thrive,” she said. said.

Pontrello nominated the school program for the free makeover, and once she found out they had been chosen, she knew she had to be part of the process.

“You know, just by helping kids with autism and walking through the door, I wanted to not only help the kids, but just the families who can walk through the door and feel happy to drop them off somewhere that felt inspiring.

The final reveal is set to take place on October 16, where Common Threads staff and students will see the renovated space for the first time.

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