Ready Bodies, Learning Minds Motor Skills Lab at LP Waters
The Greenville ISD Special Education Therapy Department developed a motor skills lab at LP Waters Early Childhood Center this past fall. The lab incorporates the Ready Bodies Learning Minds Program created by Athena Oden, a Physical Therapist out of Spring Branch, Texas. Research has shown that this program helps students improve both academically and behaviorally.
Students begin in the lab with a series of reflex movements that help them learn to properly move their bodies through space. Next, they move on to stations set up to develop sensory and motor skills such as mini-trampolines, spinner disks, a balance beam, and a tunnel to crawl through. Students practice reading and pronunciation of letters and numbers as they move through the stations. In addition, a dry erase board is used for fine motor activities to improve handwriting skills. The ultimate goal is to help the children develop the skills necessary for learning readiness.
Greenville ISD’s special education classes first started using the lab in November 2014 on a daily basis and are currently the only students utilizing the lab. “Teachers are already reporting progress in academics and behavior” said Adapted PE and Assistive Technology Coordinator, Marla Woods. While staff can assist one-on-one, “the students know the routine and some of them can go through the stations without hands-on assistance” she continued.
The future goal of the lab is to expand the program to all Head Start classes. “We are excited about the success of this program and are looking forward to the long-term benefits that these students will carry with them as they move on to other campuses in GISD” said Woods.
For more information on programs throughout GISD, please contact Sydney Phillips at (903) 457-2521.