South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation grant brings Sensory Pathway to Richard Avenue Elementary School

After a recent return to normal scheduling this spring – following different learning models over the last two years- the staff at Richard Avenue Elementary School (RAES) knew they needed an extra mechanism to help students find ways to “get the wiggles out.”

Thanks to a grant provided by the South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation, a new sensory pathway was installed at Richard Avenue Elementary School. Located in the main hallway of the building, the location of the pathway makes it accessible to all students who walk through the building on a daily basis. The path weaves students through various energy-stimulating activities such as jumping, hopping, and crab crawling. The pathway also provides the backdrop for calming activities such as wall pushes and a breathing pose as students navigate the path’s many obstacles.

“We use the sensory path as a class on Tuesdays and days when students cannot get outside for recess,” said fourth-grade teacher Tracy Endres.  “It really helps them to get movement into their day.  I have several students who ask to take a break and do the sensory path and they tell me that going through the path helps them to get their ‘minds quiet.’ The kids definitely benefit from a fun way to incorporate movement into their school day.”

In addition to the release of energy that comes with such an engaging physical activity, the Sensory Pathway is also a resource for the school’s physical therapy specialists.

“The sensory path is so engaging,” said Richard Avenue physical therapist Susie Wilson. “A lot of the path is hard, requiring advanced gross-motor skills. The path uses deep muscle input, balance, coordination, muscle memory, and core stability to complete. It gets the whole body moving and takes discipline. The path helps students calm down because of the deep pressure and weight-bearing activities, which helps them be better prepared to learn.”

Richard Avenue staff say they are grateful to have received this grant, as it directly impacts and helps their students to be the best they can be. This Sensory Path is just one more tool staff can provide to achieve the needs of the students in this building.

The district would like to thank the South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation for their continued support and dedication to expanding learning opportunities in our classrooms.

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