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Sensory path at Racine school helps students to focus and be calm

Posted at 9:08 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 13:51:37-04

RACINE, Wis. — Students are about to head back to class in Racine and one elementary school has a new way to keep kids focused. The sensory path at Mitchell Elementary School looks like it a colorful game on the floor. Instead, it is a way to help students calm down and refocus, so they can learn.

Noah Galvan, 6, is about to start first grade at Mitchell and he struggles with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"He can be hyper at times or he can't focus. Large crowds or something its hard for him to focus on anything," said his dad Rueben Galvan.

His father is excited about what sensory path could mean for Noah with it's basic commands like jump and tip toe in both English and Spanish. It will help him burn off some excess energy.

"It kind of redirects them in class if they have a hard time and can't focus," said Rueben Galvan.

"It is there to help them regain composure or to refocus and being able to get back in the class," said Steven Branson, assistant principal, Mitchell Elementary School.

Branson said studies prove all students can benefit from sensory learning not just those with learning issues. The research shows it can increase alertness and produce a calm state. That is according to a study done by the University of Puget Sound on sensory-based movement activities on students in general education. Branson said when they built a make-shift path last year, they saw quick results.

"What we found was that the students getting in trouble or arguments were reduced drastically because they had something to get up and regain focus," said Branson.

For Noah, he can't wait to tell the other students about this new path when the school year starts.

"It's so super fun," said Noah.

The sensory path cost around $1,000 was paid for by three Racine company through donations.