Some kids just need to walk around or stretch when sitting still isn’t practical while they work hard at learning.
Southeast Fountain Elementary School is using a sensory path in each grade’s hallway and out on the playground to help children work out “the wiggles” in a guided atmosphere.
Kelli Morgan, principal, explained that sometimes children may struggle with certain emotions and these sensory paths help them get their minds clearer.
“School is supposed to be peaceful environment,” Morgan said, “but some children just need more movement than the 30 minute recess or gym class.”
The installation of the paths, which are a series of decals on the linoleum floor and then two are painted on the black top playground, come from grants from the Southeast Fountain Elementary PTO and the Montgomery County Cultural Foundation.
“I’m very proud to say this was truly a team building project, as we had many teachers come and help to put the decals in place, and we had custodians who came to help prepare the floor, and the pride in completion,” Morgan added.
The playground sensory paths were a service project for Girl Scout Troop #0022, Morgan continued.
Jersey Peterson, Lillly Peterson, Lilly Gregory and Addi Faulkner are members of the troop which did the playground painting.
“It was fun to design the pathway,” Gregory said with a smile.
Faulkner added, “It’s fun to see kids sprint over to the sensory path at recess time.”
They’re very proud of the fact that their work will exist on the playground for years to come and it will help other children to be better learners in the process.
The Girl Scout leaders are also teachers at the school, Desi Peterson and Mary Gregory, and this added to the opportunity to create unity and community helping children regulate their emotions, Morgan said.
“We’re really excited to have the paths in the school, and we made sure to teach the children what the activities were for each decal or icon on the floor,” Morgan explained.