BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center is excited to announce the installation of the first of two sensory paths at the school. Funded by the MKM ECC PTO, the colorful, interactive pathway is located on the first floor hallway and is made with stickers on the floor. It provides a creative and playful way for kids to build sensory pathways, connections in the brain, which are responsible for sight, touch, and sound, and enable kids to complete complex, multi-stage tasks.
According to school Principal, Annie Corley-Hand, “Young children are brimming with abundant energy, which may impact their focus in the classroom. We are hopeful the newly installed path will provide an outlet for our young students to expend energy, release stress, and as a brain break from academics.”
Designed by MKM ECC physical therapist, Danielle Ayer, and occupational therapist, Joanna Trainor, the eagerly anticipated installation took place with the assistance of custodians Tony Abate, John Fowler and Ted Misinsky and Ayer’s two children, seven-year-old, Ellie and four-year-old Dominick.
Ellie and Dominick served as models for the appropriate placement of stickers ensuring the distance and spacing met the developmental needs of the Early Childhood Center’s 340 preschool - 1st-grade students.
According to Dr. Ayer, “A sensory-motor pathway is a great way for students to develop motor skills such as balance, coordination, and body awareness and to improve their ability to self-regulate for learning.”
Corley-Hand added, “As with many of our ‘big’ initiatives, we couldn’t do this without the tremendous support and fundraising efforts of our Parent-Teacher Organization.”