A hop, skip, and jump along Radez 'sensory path'

A hop, skip, and jump along Radez 'sensory path'
Posted on 01/08/2021
This is the image for the news article titled A hop, skip, and jump along Radez 'sensory path'

Take a walk down one particular hallway on the first floor of Radez Elementary, and you may bump into a student tip-toeing, hopping on one foot, or doing jumping jacks. 

This particular hallway is no longer just a hallway. It’s a sensory path, completed earlier this month thanks to the work of fifth-grade teacher Jenn Rightmyer (and her family) as well as a generous grant from the Cobleskill-Richmondville Education Foundation.

A sensory path is an obstacle course, of sorts, that directs students to perform specific actions -- such as marching or jumping or crab-walking -- with words and images laid out on the floor. Research suggests the paths stimulate cognitive activity and concentration while also providing an opportunity for movement and physical activity during the school day.

Also, they’re fun.

“Every time I’ve walked past, I’ve seen some kids down there,” Mrs. Rightmyer said. “I picture it as a place where kids can go when we finish some work, then the class can go down and spend a few minutes. The nice thing is it’s a big enough space that an entire class can do it.”

The path was constructed during the Holiday Recess by Mrs. Rightmeyer with the help of her family. She acquired materials for the project  through a $1,500 grant from CREF, a not-for-profit organization founded to support, enhance, and promote educational opportunities that are innovative and supplemental to the school budget.

Moving forward, she hopes to construct a similar sensory path outdoors when the weather improves. Because the stencils used to create the path are reusable, it’s also possible the path could be moved to other schools as well.

“To me, this is just so important for students’ mental health,” Mrs. Rightmyer said. “That’s my biggest takeaway. It’s a moment for them to just ‘be.’ Be on a tightrope. Be tip-toeing. Just be in the moment.”