ST. MARYS, Pa. (WTAJ)– With school about start, an Elk County teacher wants to set her students on the path to success, literally.
Reading and math Teacher Stacey Kaveney designed what’s called a sensory walkway on the first floor of South St. Marys Street Elementary School.
It gets kids moving and thinking before class starts.
“There’s a ton of research that says movement helps the kids learn everything and just keep it in their brains,” Kaveney said.
Kaveney got the idea after seeing sensory walkways in other schools on Facebook, so she set the project into motion last fall.
“Her ideas are always so ingenious and creative, it certainly makes us think,” Principal Chrissy Kuhar said. “So we figured, why not. The kids will love it and if they can make it happen, we can make it happen.”
Different stickers on the floor give the kids practice with numbers and the alphabet– all while they get out the pre-class jitters.
“I think it’s going to invigorate the kids as they walk down the hallway, they’re just going to be excited to try it out, they’re not going to realize that they’re learning, so the added benefit of getting those wiggles out is just exciting to us,” Assistant Principal Julie Boyer said.
Costs for the hallway were covered by a grant and community donations.
Owner of Rhino Flooring of St. Marys, and Kaveney’s brother, Adam Brem installed the special flooring.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Brem said. “It’s pretty neat to see the kids jump on the arrows and turn around and do everything. I think it came out perfect.”
Kaveney said she plans to make the walkway a regular part of the school day.
“My kids come to my classroom, so I plan before they enter my room, they can take a lap around the hallway, review everything, and then come in and they’re ready,” Kaveney said.
Kaveney said if she can get the funding , she wants to add another sensory hallway in the school– next time for the second through fifth graders on the second floor.