The floors have been shined, the classrooms cleaned and organized, the teachers trained, and Raymond Hill School is ready for a new school year.
One area that has seen major improvements over the summer is the Marjorie Moore School Store. Thanks to a grant from the Liberty Bank Foundation, the school was able to purchase clothing racks, labeling supplies, the hygiene items and other merchandise frequently requested by students, and more to make the store a more realistic retail environment. By working in the school store, our students are able to gain resume-building work experience and skills, and the store boosts the confidence of all students by serving as an inexpensive resource for a new pair of jeans, deodorant, or birthday gifts for younger siblings.
The occupational therapy sensory room and therapeutic gym completed in the spring thanks to a grant from CHEFA will be fully implemented this fall. The space, which includes swings, a ball pit, monkey bars, and jumping equipment, gives students an appropriate environment in which to learn how to regulate their emotions. Some of our students live in a state of such constant stress and anxiety that they don’t even know what it feels like to be calm. The physical motion of a swing or a spin board can help to calm a child’s body, teaching them to recognize the difference so that they can then learn to self-regulate. Other students simply have trouble sitting still for long periods of time; for them, the sensory space provides a safe place to take an active break so that they can return to the classroom ready to learn.
We are excited for all that this new school year will bring, and especially to see the progress our students will make, both in and out of the classroom.