Bright fiber optic lights, soothing music and a bubble column are all part of the newly renovated Snoezelen room at the Leonard Kirtz School in Austintown.
Fundraising efforts from staff and the transportation department raised about $9,000 for the project.
“It just relaxes our kids and it also has sensory stimulation for them, so they’re great and we’re thrilled to get an update,” said educational assistant Kim Jeswald.
The update that was much needed since the original room was created in 1995. Faculty members said they couldn’t be happier with the community’s response to their biggest fundraiser, which was a cavatelli dinner in March.
“It really was a wonderful turnout. We had so many people, so many donations even without purchasing baked goods or raffle tickets. They just came for the dinner and decided to donate extra money,” said school bus driver Beverly Cox.
Some of the money went to creating a brand new Wii room for the students. Once a week, kids from different classes can take advantage of play time in the state-of-the-art game room.
“It’s great for kids with cerebral palsy because they’re actually stretching and they don’t know it. They’re having fun doing it, which is awesome,” Jeswald said.
Kids also can work on team building exercises, especially during their favorite game, which is bowling.
The school is primarily funded by tax dollars and the Ohio Department of Education. Staff members said they are thankful to also have community support.
“We would just like them to see where their money went,” Cox said.