June 11, 2020

Leadership Tech Valley Class of 2020 to Address Mental Health Needs for Hundreds of Students through Sensory Path Project

The Capital Region Chamber’s Leadership Tech Valley (LTV) Class of 2020 is pleased to announce its class project (with a twist!), Sensory Pathways to Success, an initiative to benefit the youth served by Northern Rivers Family of Services.

Working with Northern Rivers to install Sensory Pathways is the primary project goal. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the installation date will be determined by the Department of Health and Center for Disease Control guidelines. Because of the pandemic, the LTV Class has had to expand its project awareness efforts in unconventional ways, served with a little fun for the Capital Region and beyond!  We have created the #SENSORYCHALKCHALLENGE to share the benefits of sensory paths far and wide!  This challenge is sweeping the area and challenges individuals, families, groups, and organizations to create and film their own chalk sensory pathway.  It’s entertaining and promotes mental health for all involved.  Check out the links below for some examples of LTV members accepting the challenge and hopping along the path to supporting Mental Health Awareness!

What is a sensory path? It’s a colorful and interactive pathway that encourages kids to do things like hop, jump, and spin. Focusing in school for hours on end, or being stuck at home during a pandemic, can be difficult for any child.  Everyone needs to “get the wiggles out” occasionally and these physical activities help ALL kids, ESPECIALLY those struggling with behavioral issues, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health challenges.

The LTV Class of 2020 is raising funds to purchase and install professionally designed sensory paths in the hallways of Northern Rivers’ Early Learning Center, School at Northeast and the Neil Hellman School. Once installation is approved, LTV class members will roll up their sleeves to transform one hallway in each special education school into a colorful and interactive pathway.

“For students suffering with behavioral issues, anxiety, ADHD, and other mental health challenges, these sensory paths will be transformational,” says Northern Rivers CEO William Gettman. “They will serve as an outlet to burn off excess energy, regulate their emotions, and return to class with a better mindset. Our students will benefit from the paths for many years to come.”

Financial gifts to support the Sensory Pathways to Success project are currently being accepted on the Chamber’s website, Contributions will have a lasting impact on more than 400 students who attend Northern Rivers’ special education schools from 50+ school districts each year.