There is a classroom that is a “bridge to diversity” where barriers are broken down and learning passes through senses and movement. This almost magical place is the Snoezelen sensory room created at Canova Kindergarten in San Lazzaro.
It is an MSE-certified classroom dedicated to the sensory communication activity of children with disabilities, with the aim of facilitating new forms of interaction and inclusion, primarily with peers and teachers. There is a pool of multicolored balls, thematic projections dedicated to the seasons and various natural habitats, accompanied by relaxing sounds, colored lights, a soft water mattress that moves after the music and a cascade of glowing LEDs.
A relaxing and at the same time stimulating environment, where barriers are broken down and give life to moments of sharing and inclusion for all children.
The sensory room was created by the administration (for about 20 thousand euros of the total expenditure), with the contribution of the comprehensive institute 1 in San Lazzaro (2,500 euros) and of the collection started by the parents’ committee (2,700 euros). The project also includes a training course for the use of the room by teachers and school staff.
The idea for this project came from the family of a child with a severe disability who goes to school.
“The specific path of inclusion for our son – explain parents Daniela Barbatosta and Lorenzo Frassine – is an opportunity for the whole community: a Snoezelen MSE (Multisensory Environment) certified sensory room that all boys and girls will benefit from. We thought it would be great to be able to have a large space, for all students and for all students, with a focus on sensuality, where they can live pleasant and shared experiences that strengthen and improve the relationship.That way, the school, in addition to enjoying a new space and extra work tools , bearer of the concept of inclusion.
A place where exchange and sharing can take place simply and without barriers, where learning is combined with sensory pleasure. We proposed the idea to the head of the Holistic Institute 1, to the teachers, to the Administration and later also to the Parents’ Committee. Everyone supported the initiative. Thanks to the funds provided by the municipality, the school and the crowdfunding campaign launched by the IC1 parent committee, thanks to everyone’s constant commitment, this place where everyone can express themselves freely and bring us back to common feelings has been created. a reality”.
“Education for respect for differences starts right from school – emphasizes Mayor Isabella Conti – children with disabilities have the right to have inviting spaces that are able to meet their needs, where they can feel comfortable in everyday life; spaces for to live with peers, to create moments of true inclusion and sharing without barriers. Therefore, we immediately supported the sensory room project, the first to be built in an elementary school at the city level. Our municipality is a reference point and a center of expertise for special educational needs and children. It is no coincidence that in recent years we have seen an increase in families with disabled children in our area: People are moving here because they know they can count on groundbreaking services that are aware of the special needs of people with disabilities. ”.
“The sensory room represents an additional tool in our daily commitment to the integration of disabled children – explains the councilor of the School Benedetta Simon – it is a stimulating place where all students together can perform different activities to integrate the teaching, varied according to the age group. “is to make this classroom a legacy for all schools in the area. In fact, we are working to expand the education process to all our teachers and educators, to give students in all schools the opportunity to use the sensory space.”
The Director of the Comprehensive Institute of San Lazzaro, Daniela Turci, confirms, who also thanks “to all the teaching staff who participated in the course, which is crucial to ensure that teachers can communicate and guide children in the various multisensory activities, which promotes inclusion and acceptance of diversity “.
“The school we want, as Minister Bianchi said at the beginning of the school year, is loving – emphasizes Giuseppe Antonio Panzardi, director of the province’s school office – it is a school that loves and loves itself. Starts precisely with inclusion Our task is therefore to provide tools, provide examples, build models and good practice.Today, something was born in San Lazzaro that we must support and disseminate: expertise in public schools, by all and for all.Thanks to the parents, the administration, the teachers and the leader to create this opportunity “.