Coming soon…Pre-K learning experiences that will stimulate the senses!
With a $10,000 grant awarded by Cobb County School District’s (CCSD) Cobb Tank, the South Cobb Early Learning Center (SCELC) will be creating a sensory literacy space, a Reader’s Retreat. This space will benefit all SCELC students by providing multi-sensory experiences to support academic, social-emotional, physical, and communicative growth.
Cobb Tank is an annual grant competition event sponsored by CCSD’s STEM and Innovative division. Cobb Tank provides a unique opportunity for local school faculty and staff to apply for funding in order to implement innovative instructional practices in their classrooms. Helen Walcott, SCELC’s Early Learning Specialist, was thrilled to take advantage of this opportunity. Helen, Amanda Bailey (Special Needs Pre-K teacher), Patricia Holliday (Occupational Therapist), Dwana Cole (Speech Language Pathologist), and Tresa Snow (SCELC coordinator) made their pitch to fund this project during a live virtual event on February 3, 2021. Their proposal included a narrated PowerPoint presentation that describe the need for such a space and how they would furnish and utilize it. After their presentation, they fielded questions from the panel of “Sharks.”
The goal of the SCELC’s Reader’s Retreat is to provide the area, materials, and equipment needed for students to engage in literacy activities that will involve two or more of their senses. Research shows one of the most effective ways to teach a new concept and to support the retention of that new learning is to stimulate multiple areas of the brain via the usage of a multi-sensory approach. This innovative space will include vertical learning surfaces such as a LEGO® wall, mirror wall, and a magnetic white board. Vertical spaces support the growth of muscle groups needed for fine motor skills such as handwriting. Another area within this space will include props such as costumes and puppets for students to reenact books and engage in imaginary play. These types of dramatic play activities are purposeful and functional as students physically practice buttoning, snapping, and zipping. Additionally, role-playing encourages interaction and communication with others which builds vocabulary and problem-solving skills. Moreover, within the communicative realm, the Reader’s Retreat will utilize recordable buttons and picture core boards that will allow non-verbal students to communicate their wants and needs.
The SCELC’s Reader’s Retreat will be an inclusive, inspired learning space that will truly support the growth of CCSD’s youngest learners. “Congratulations to the dedicated staff for providing this opportunity to our Pre-K students. I can’t wait to visit my SCELC friends and see this exciting learning opportunity in action!” commented Dr. Denise Osborn, CCSD’s Early Learning Supervisor.
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Dr. Denise Osborn, Supervisor