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New Elm Room Is a Sensory Delight

A special space in Elm Drive Elementary School has been redesigned as a colorful Sensory Room, which combines a range of stimuli to help students engage their senses.

The room features bright colored walls and stimulating activities such as a swing and an indoor trampoline. It will soon have a separate area for students of all grades to cool off before returning to class. Elm Principal Alicia O’Connell said the room is a good place for students to work on their fine motor and gross motor skills, which they may be lacking due to increased use of technology.

“You can go in there and just play and build up those fine motor skills or get that sensory input,” O’Connell said. “That helps so many kids; it’s an extra space to get that energy out.” 

The room helps elementary students learn how to regulate their emotions and makes them feel comfortable early on which will benefit them when they enter middle and high school.

“Having that room available to students really helps bring us in a good place,” O’Connell said. 

O’Connell previously worked on creating sensory rooms in Poughkeepsie City School District and wanted to do the same at Millbrook. She is excited to see her idea come to fruition and thanked the school’s maintenance and custodial staff for their efforts in getting the room ready. 

“This I knew was an important vision of mine,” the principal said. “I’m just so grateful that this came to be before the end of the school year and we’ve had this time to enjoy it.”

Kindergartners who visited the room on April 13 shared their excitement about using it, including Abigail who swung on the swing and played hopscotch on color changing plates.

“I like to do everything in this room,” Abigail said.

Anthony has visited the room often and loves the swing the best.

“You can do anything on it,” Anthony said of the swing.