More students with disabilities at Maryborough Special School will be re-engaged in learning as a new sensory therapy program is introduced at the school.
The initiative was made possible thanks to a $10,000 Grassroots Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.
Maryborough Special School Principal Sue Omar said sensory therapy has the ability to reduce challenging behaviours and improve students’ mood so that they can better engage in the classroom.
“This grant will allow us to purchase a range of sensory items like tactile objects, visuals, and sound recordings to stimulate their senses, whilst also having a calming effect on them.”
“Our goal is to eventually create a dedicated Snoezelen or sensory room, as it is more commonly known, to help create the ultimate sensory experience for students and this grant gets us another step closer to achieving this,” Ms Omar said.
Mundubbera-Burnett Freemason Lodge Secretary Peter Keller said they nominated the school for the grant. The members live in the Wide Bay and meet in Maryborough every month.
“Helping students with disabilities to overcome barriers to education is a very worthy cause which the local Freemasons wholeheartedly support,” Mr Keller said.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were pleased to be able to provide this support to Maryborough Special School to help empower students with disabilities in their learning environment.
“We would like to give Mundubbera-Burnett Freemasons a special mention for understanding the needs of their community and bringing this local initiative to our attention,” Gary said.
“Fifteen charities shared in almost $120,000 as part this year’s Community Grants round. We also received a greater number of applications with a large geographical spread, particularly in regional Queensland.
“Although the grant round was oversubscribed, we wanted to make sure we maximised our support at a time the community needed it the most.
“Among the causes we’ve been able to support are youth at risk, our ageing population, men’s mental and physical health, and women’s financial and physical security.”
The grant was announced amid the Freemason charity providing more than $700,000 in emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants in the wake of COVID-19.