One student tossed dressing into a salad, another sliced a loaf of bread and a third was positioned at the entry to the Loveland Elementary School (LES) classroom waiting to greet some special guests with a bright hello and big hug. This was the scene at LES Thursday, March 7, as the children prepared a thank-you luncheon under the direction of special needs teacher Mary Frees.
“We are just so excited,” Frees said. “This is our first year in this classroom and it has transformed how I’m able to teach.”
The new classroom is equipped with a bathroom, a kitchen area and now – because of a donation by parents – a sensory room.
“We have the ability to do large format printing and we knew we could do this,” said Phil Huff, one of the parents being honored.
Huff and his wife, Michele, have a son in the class – 10-year-old Zac – who now, along with the other students, has a colorful, functional sensory room to take a break, recover from a stressful situation, relax and regroup and have a non-distracted area to work in. The Huffs own CIP Retail, a company that specializes in creating signage and interior décor for grocery stores. They put their business to work for LES to create the sensory room, along with Scott Carney, who designed the sign above the door.
The students thanked the parents who helped in the sensory room creation by hosting a dedication.
“This room is so important to the development of my students,” said Frees. “We simply could not have built this on our own; we are so thankful to have this level of parent support.”
Photo caption (L to R): Darlene Carney, Scott Carney, Phil Huff, Michele Huff and Mary Frees stand in front of the new sensory room.