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Homewood, AL: Elem school adds sensory room to meet "social/emotional/behavioral needs"

July 24, 2019, Village Living, Homewood, AL: Sensory classrooms await CBES students What started out as a request for a can of paint turned into an $11,000 grant for two new sensory rooms at Cherokee Bend Elementary School. … The special education team of teachers was awarded an $11,000 grant from the MBSF, which supplements funding for the schools and provides an outlet for teachers to ask for new and innovative things to add in their classrooms. The bulk of the money will go to the classrooms, but some will be used for professional development for teacher training. Teacher Sarah Jackson said one of their goals is to increase student achievement by meeting their social, emotional and behavioral needs so they can be ready to learn. “While doing our research, we found the Snoezelen model, which is a Dutch term for rest and exploration,” Jackson said. “While some kids need motivation to get pumped up and ready to learn, others may be hyper or anxious and need help to calm them down to be able to learn.” The Snoezelen room will be converted from a conference room and feature a quiet, calm environment that appeals to the seven different sensory systems. It will have controlled lighting, flexible seating, fiber optic curtains, bubble towers and calming effects. Students needing a quiet space to work or think can focus in this room….. While the rooms will be primarily for the students in the special education program, they are available to the entire school of almost 500 students. There will also be sensory boxes in each room for teachers to check out and use in their individual classrooms. … Teacher Lizzie Vansant said her group’s goal is to identify each child’s needs and determine what unmet sensory needs should be addressed. …

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