Sensory Seekers: Fostering a Safe, Supportive Climate

Rivers Edge Elementary

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Three new sensory paths (two indoors and one outside) will provide students with sensory breaks to encourage self-regulation and focus. The various movements on the selected paths are designed to engage students’ bodies and brains. The activities serve as outlets to help students channel some of their excess energy in a fun and engaging way. The implementation of the sensory paths also help to address students’ social-emotional needs by including positive affirmations on the walls and on the floor. Sensory support materials will also be provided for teachers to use in the classroom: wobble cushions, fidget tools, sensory bins, and fluorescent light filters. Teachers will have access to picture books that will aid in teaching students about sensory differences so students can better understand the unique experiences of their classmates with sensory challenges.

During the grant process the Rivers Edge Elementary team learned through survey of staff that almost all students would benefit from sensory supports of some kind- whether gross or fine motor-based. Teachers shared that the transition back to the classroom from virtual learning has been tough for many students. Access to sensory tools and paths provide a motivating tool for students who need a chance to reset in a new environment outside of the classroom.

2021-22 Cycle 2 Grant

Funding Amount: $6,215

Number impacted: 803

Grant recipient: Corbin Franklin, associate principal & Shannon Hodges, student support teacher

"The grant process gave our team a chance to reflect on an area of need for our school and how we could take action to support that need. We will definitely apply for an innovative grant again! We are grateful to HEF for supporting this project and the needs of our REES students!"

Corbin Franklin, associate principal