Elm Creek Elementary Creates The Eagle’s Roost to Support Students
May 02, 2017 08:26PM ● Published by Wendy Erlien
Occupational Therapist Sara Pederson in The Eagles Roost at Elm Creek Elementary. (Photo by Wendy Erlien / Maple Grove Voice)
To support Elm Creek Elementary students, The Eagle’s Roost room was recently finished – with the help of local and regional grant funding.
“The Eagle’s Roost is a room set-up up with environmental modifications to promote calm and to assist with getting a student’s mind and body back into the ready to learn state (Green Zone),” Elm Creek Elementary Occupational Therapist Sara Pederson said. “The Roost is utilizing the Zones of Regulation curriculum to support students in the implementation of self-regulation strategies and to provide clear entry and exit criteria for the students to follow.”
Materials in the Maple Grove elementary room include learning tools to help calm students, such as bean bag chairs, video rocker, and visuals of deep breathing.
“The tools cover every sense of the body such as eyes, ears, touch, movement and smell and will enable the students to experience tools to determine what helps them to calm their body following a guided routine,” Pederson said stating it is a “proactive” space for children to utilize and learn ways to calm and regain focus for classroom tasks.
“These tools and skills can then hopefully to be generalized throughout their life,” she said.
The space, which is supervised by staff when in use, will be accessible to preschool through fifth grade students.
“The Eagle’s Roost enables me to use my background and knowledge to help all of the students at Elm Creek Elementary versus just Special Education students that demonstrate a need for Occupational Therapy services,” Pederson said. “It allows the students and staff to have access to tools and supports for calming on a consistent generalized basis - which was difficult at times before the room was developed due to me not physically being in the building every day of the week.” In addition to Elm Creek Elementary, Pederson serves as an Occupational Therapist at Park Brook Elementary and Maple Grove Middle School.
Funding to create The Eagles’ Roost included $500 grants from the Maple Grove Lions and Osseo Lions awarded to Elm Creek Elementary along with a MinnesotaDepartment of Education Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Grant, according to Pederson.
“The grant funding has enabled us to create a dream vision for a space to help all students calm,” Pederson said. “It has provided us the ability to physically modify an existing space to promote calm and to enable us to provide much needed services for all of the students on a consistent global level.”