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Grants in Action: Gross Motor, Sensory Self-Regulation, and Social-Emotional Learning Items for Poulsbo Developmental Preschool

Jill Porter and Daniela Muniz Work To Improve Special Needs Kids’ Social and Emotional Skills

A preschool aged boy hugging a doll

One of the North Kitsap Schools Foundation grants awarded during the 2022-2023 school year provided an array of special education learning items for Poulsbo Developmental Preschool. 

Daniela Muniz and Jill Porter were able to purchase supplies for their pre-kindergarten students that provided support for gross motor skills, sensory self-regulation and social-emotional development for special needs kids ages three to five years old.

Jill and Daniela informed us that their special needs program has seen an increased need for the students to engage in more whole-body movement and other types of related sensory activities. 

One portion of the grant funded a trampoline, balance beam, and slide so that the kids could have some indoor activities to complement their outdoor activities when the weather is poor, or when they exhibit the need for additional gross motor activities. The children showed marked improvement in essential coordination skills like balance, climbing, jumping, and situational awareness for safety. They also improved their social skills by practicing waiting in lines and taking turns.

The funding also provided the classroom with cozy cubbies, bean bag chairs, and pillows giving the students safe, quiet spaces where they can withdraw and practice self-soothing and down-regulating techniques when some students become overwhelmed. Life-sized baby dolls also encouraged social-emotional skills in the children by allowing them to fulfill nurturing tendencies. They exhibited care and concern over the dolls by gently rocking them, dressing them, and covering them for naps, practices that also required the development of fine motor skills. 

These essential items provided the special needs pre-kindergarten kids at Poulsbo Developmental Preschool with the resources they needed to learn and develop effectively throughout the 2022-2023 school year and into the future.

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