EVERGREEN — Whether you want to pick Flathead cherries or squish huckleberries, Evergreen Elementary School near Kalispell has a new sensory path that designed to help regulate students' emotions and energy.
It’s a new trend and Evergreen school counselor Michelle Mitchell says it’s exactly what it looks like: “It’s body and brain. It helps you get your mind off of things. It helps to regulate your emotions and then you’re able to get back into the classroom.”
Mitchell noted that the sensory path is entirely Montana themed: "Bitterroot, Glacier, mountains, cherries - anything that dealt with Montana.”
“When we go to lunch it’s fun. And also, I get angry sometimes so my teacher sends me off and makes me go in there," third-grade student Brooke Knoble told MTN News.
Mitchell says that through the school’s budget -- and extra donations -- the custom decals help students like Skyler Dugan get extra energy out between class.
Skyler said, "Pretend like you get to scratch it and stuff, it makes noise and it’s fun. And I like doing tip-toes on the tree and I like stepping on the logs and picking the cherries.”
Mitchell pointed out that the path is always available to students.
"We can tell when they just need a break, so they take that walkabout pass. And maybe another paraprofessional, another adult will come down and they’ll do it. Or our older kids are able to just walk down here, do what they need to do and off they go back to class."
Mitchell says students are free to use the sensory path anytime during the day.