Alexander Elementary School was awarded funding from The Children’s Guild Foundation in the amount of $9640 to purchase equipment for two Sensory Rooms and one Calm Room. The Children’s Guild Foundation supports initiatives that align with its mission to “serve...as advocates and to make financial grants to...non-profit organizations serving children with special needs throughout the eight counties of Western New York.” Alexander Elementary School Occupational Therapist, Rachel Harmon, and School Social Worker, Courtney Diemert, applied for the grant and were approved in February 2019 for the full amount needed to purchase equipment for the three rooms.
Mrs. Harmon states, “The Sensory Rooms give opportunities for students to interact with hands-on equipment that is safe and engaging. The grant funded equipment like interactive wall puzzles, bubble tubes, textured balls, bean bags, gel floor tiles and more. The maintenance staff was instrumental in installing the equipment over the summer in order for the rooms to be ready for the students' arrival. Sensory Rooms incorporate all of the senses to create a calm environment for students to promote self regulation and offer breaks to reduce frustration and build their tolerance for learning.”
The Calm Room serves as a space in the elementary building where students can take a break if they’re having a difficult day. Ms. Diemert states, “The Calm Room helps students self-regulate and decompress before returning to the high demand work required in the classroom. Teachers are aware of how to use the Calm Room as a resource for teaching students how to display self-control when they are struggling.”
Mrs. Harmon and Ms. Diemert would like to thank the Maintenance Department, Dr. Huber, Board of Education, Tim Batzel, Rose Howard, Matthew Stroud, Kathy Busch and The Children’s Guild Foundation for their assistance in the application and funding process which has provided support for Alexander students in alignment with the District goal to provide a structured, safe and caring environment.