TCHC Foundation awards grant to Sebeka School District

 Funds will be used to add new sensory paths in elementary school

The Tri-County Health Care Foundation recently awarded a $1,500 grant to the Sebeka School District to assist in the addition of more than 80 feet of sensory paths in two hallways of the elementary school.

Sensory paths give students a fun way to learn outside of the classroom. They involve vinyl decals stuck to floors and walls and consist of exercises designed to help students develop motor skills like balance, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. This path has students focus on academic visuals with numbers, letters and colors while moving their body throughout the course. The students move and jump from visuals like daisies with numbered leaves, alphabet polka dots for hopscotch, a loopy ladybug line, jumping frogs, rainbow footprints and floating logs. As the students move through the course, their body movements slow down or speed up, but work toward giving the proper sensory input without overstimulating the student.

In addition to a physical benefit, sensory paths are helpful for students that have processing difficulties, stress, anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The path is designed by using research-based integration therapy techniques to decrease sensory-seeking behaviors and increase cognition.

“Last year, a few special education teachers made our own sensory path using gym floor tape, and the students loved it, but it started to peel off,” said Elizabeth Hillukka, Sebeka special education teacher. “I had intentions of using handmade decals this year, but it was a big task to take on. It will help immensely that the decals are preconstructed.”

The TCHC Foundation Grant was created to help organizations fund activities that promote health care and education in TCHC’s service area in Wadena, Todd and Otter Tail counties.

“We are excited to partner with the Sebeka School District for this grant,” said Ryan Damlo, Foundation executive director. “We know that keeping students active while in school helps with the necessary learning they are doing, and we are excited to see this new sensory path in action.”

The Tri-County Health Care Foundation is a private charity established in 1994 by the hospital to attract and administer charitable funds for the benefit of the communities and surrounding areas served by Tri-County Health Care. Tax deductible gifts support education, technology, patient care and equipment. Financial donations stay local and have a direct and lasting impact on your family, friends and neighbors.