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Sensory Path coming to Verbena Annex

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Verbena Annex will be adding a Sensory Path to help students who need a break thanks to funds from the Chilton Education Foundation.

PEECh grant committee members presented $1,500 to Assistant Principal Jodie Lawley, special education teacher Lacey Mims and speech pathologist Caroline Rushing on Feb. 21.

Lawley said the path will be another resource, in addition to the sensory room established last year, for “students who need a break to diffuse, so it’s an outlet for them to get out of the classroom and just take a break, a mental break.”

“It is going to go in the main hallway,” Lawley said.

She said she had seen the path in use at other schools and wanted to get one for Verbena Annex.

“There are some students who need that extra time away from the classroom to move around and just get some of their sensory needs out,” Mims said.

She said it was “an awesome opportunity for our students who need that extra time out because every student is different and they all have different sensory needs or needs in general.”

Lawley heard about the grant opportunity from Verbena High School Principal Tammy Hand.

The path will be available for any student that needs it.

“We are excited to have it,” Lawley said.

This was the first year for each of the three grant writers to receive a PEECh grant.

Rushing said receiving the grant was amazing and a privilege.

The Sensory Path is a series of large vinyl stickers that have been placed along a hallway. The path has different sections that have students stretching, jumping and pushing against the wall in a resistance exercise. The Sensory Path was developed by special education teacher Holly Clay after meeting with occupational therapists and physical therapists to determine what movements would most help students with sensory processing disorders, such as autism.