At Julie Billiart School, play is more than just fun. It’s a tool and instrument used by our therapists and teaching staff to help students:
Develop large and fine motor skills.
Promote personal interaction and social skills.
Encourage creativity and communication.
Calm, relax, and soothe feelings of anxiety.
Since it’s construction 18 years ago, our current playground has been used for recess but not necessarily to meet the goals mentioned above. Children with autism, ADHD, and other sensory processing challenges are more likely to master coordination, attention, social-emotional and sensory processing challenges when:
Quiet areas are available to escape noise, fast movements and other activities that may over stimulate the senses.
Soothing and relaxing play is introduced through activities like swinging or rocking.
Socializing and friendship-building is encouraged.
Play is harbored in a safe and nurturing environment .
Over the past few months our team of intervention specialists, therapists, and “playground experts” have been working and planning diligently to ensure all of these elements are a part of our new sensory playground. Scheduled to open later this year, the sensory playground will offer students and children in the community, areas of quiet play, equipment that encourages calming movement, “buddy benches” where new friendships can develop, and a safe, sound-absorbing flooring that will minimize injuries and reduce harsh and disruptive noises.
We are inviting parents, grandparents, alumni and friends the opportunity to leave a permanent mark on the new playground by purchasing a commemorative brick. Proceeds from the sale of the bricks will be used to purchase and install the new equipment and flooring.
Bricks will be permanently installed in a wall visible from the new playground.