Hallway at Washington School Transformed to Promote Wellness 

Glance quickly down the rear hallway near the Guidance Office at Washington School and you may not see the transformation that has taken place there. Start down the hall and the floor will reveal the new routine.

Begin with stepping from one brightly colored stone to the next, then jump from log to log, do two standing push-ups with your hands on the wall, and then take 14 steps, heel-to-toe like a tightrope walker. Now make the turn back towards the starting point by crab crawling on your hands and feet before two more wall push-ups, and then hopscotch across green lily pads, and finish by marching left, right, left, over brightly colored bugs.

This is Wyckoff’s first sensory hallway. The bugs and logs and lily pads are just stickers affixed to the floor. Paula Rubenacker, the guidance counselor at Washington, is responsible for the effort, which students are experiencing individually when they need a break or as a class when their teachers bring them by. 

“A sensory path is good for kids,” Rubenacker says. “It allows them to reset and go back into the classroom. It takes their minds off of things. It helps them release energy and some kids use it to re-energize.”

The Wyckoff Education Foundation provided the funds for the materials, which were purchased from Fit and Fun Playscapes in Putnam County, NY. This is part of WEF’s larger commitment to support wellness programs across the District. Washington School is also planning a Wellness Week in January that will feature a Shop Rite program about nutrition and an assembly that it expected to include yoga and mindfulness.

Washington Principal Scott Blake expects to see other sensory hallways in the District very soon. He applauds Rubenacker for leading this initial project. “It was a good team effort,” he says, noting that District maintenance workers affixed the stickers during a weekend in September and a janitor from the District’s cleaning contractor applied two coats of wax over the stickers to have the hallway ready for crab crawling and hopscotching by Monday morning.

Posted by thomas.deloughry On 18 November, 2019 at 3:51 PM  

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