Ruth Betts School opens new sensory room with community support

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The Ruth Betts Community School now has a new tool to help teach children with exceptional needs – in part thanks to a pair of generous donors.

The Ruth Betts Community School now has a new tool to help teach children with exceptional needs – in part thanks to a pair of generous donors.

The school officially opened a new sensory room, intended to help children become familiar with sensory inputs in a controlled environment.

“Towards the beginning of last year, we realized that we had a lot of students who could benefit from it. As the year progressed we realized the need was really needed, ”said Ruth Betts Deputy Manager Mike McLellan.

To raise money to build the hall, McLellan worked with the community group circuit, seeking funds and support. It was through this grind that the project fell on Dennis and Pat Hyndman, who were immediately on board.

“I contacted local fundraisers, groups, clubs. Word of mouth spread from there and Dennis and Pat got wind of it and they thought it would be a great idea, ”said McLellan.

After hearing about the project, the deputy director said the Hyndmans helped move the project forward.

“They said they wanted to give back to the community and do something big, that they would give whatever we asked to make this project happen,” McLellan said.

“We wanted it up and running for the fall, so we got a bunch of things quickly and had the flooring installed, the wall put up and the rest is history. “

A sensory room features lights, colors, sounds, soft play objects and more to allow children to explore their own senses in a controlled therapeutic environment. The sensory rooms are intended for children with special educational needs, including autistic students.

“It’s therapeutic in nature. Students who kind of need a break, a quiet space, can use it as needed, ”McLellan said.

“There’s a lot of tactile activity in there, gross motor, fine motor activity, as well as a dark space with light, visual and auditory sensations, that sort of thing. It is intended for students with exceptional needs, but anyone can use it.

The closest sensory room to Flin Flon was previously in Swan River.

“We had an influx of students with exceptional needs who would really benefit from a quiet space at school,” McLellan said.

The plan, once COVID-19 restrictions allow and the project is fully completed, is to allow community members to access the room outside of school hours. McLellan said he believes such a space could have a positive impact on the community.

“Once we are allowed to do this we would like to allow community members to use it and for students who need a break they can go after hours and make it a community space,” he said. he declares.


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