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MHS gets sensory room and path

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Maplesville students with special needs have new resources available to them this year through a sensory room and path.

Special education teachers had received a Partners Enhancing Education in Chilton County Grant for $1,500 from the Chilton Education Foundation for The Sensory Path and raised money through Donor’s Choose for the sensory room equipment.

Valle Grande Mexican Grill’s Maplesville location also hosted a gift certificate fundraiser for the sensory room.

The sensory room gives students a place to calm down with a variety of things to see and feel in a room where the lights have been dimmed.

Lights of different colors and sizes add to the calming effect of the space, and music plays in the background.

Special education teacher Brittany Yeargan said students usually spent 10 minutes at a time in the sensory room.

“We have kids that use it daily,” Yeargan said. “We have kids that use it four times a day eight to 10 minutes at a time, just to cool down … It’s been a thing that’s been a positive for our school, just in the few short weeks we’ve been back.”

The sensory path has been a good opportunity “to get rid of some movement that might be hindering them,” Yeargan said.

She said it helps student’s combat being overwhelmed by the information they have learned and be ready to go back to the classroom.

“I love it,” student Harrison Payne said.

He said he enjoys the duck walk and jumping like a frog when using the sensory path.

His favorite color on the sensory path is blue.

Student Sofia Sanchez also said jumping was her favorite part. Her favorite color is the purple on the letters and the yellow of the flower.

For student Zoe Riley, the portion with letters outlined by circles is her favorite part.

“Because it’s like hopscotch,” Zoe said.

Her favorite colors featured are purple and pink. She usually goes through the path twice a day.

Both sensory focused resources are already being used on a daily basis, Yeargan said.

While sensory resources are designed with special education students as the focus, Yeargan said the elements can also help any student having a bad day, if teachers deem the resources would help.

On the first day of school, the sensory room helped students who were anxious about a new year calm down.

“It’s just a time to chill out and let all your worries go away, and just give them a minute to be kid,” Yeargan said.