LEIGHTON, Ala. — An open house Thursday evening at Colbert County High School celebrated the completion of the new sensory classroom, special needs playground, and daily life lab.
The sensory area, dubbed the fun room, comes equipped with swings, different types of alternative seating, and items that aid in stress relief for students, like weighted blankets. More fun and interactive equipment can be found outside on the playground.
Special Education Director Wade Turberville said the projects were years in the making. “Getting out designs, raising money—we had many local businesses that donated money, private donors that donated, and then using money from fundraisers,” Turberville said.
People in the community pitched in as well. “We had a lot of people that came up and helped paint, helped get things ordered, and just cleaning up and different things.”
Some helped stock items for the daily life lab, which comes with its own simulation of a one-bedroom apartment to help students become more independent.
Turberville said the skills are setting up students for life.
“Not only in the home because a lot of our students will probably be at home with their parents or their guardians for most of their adult lives, but they’ll get to learn how to make their bed, to vacuum, set a table, cook simple melas,” Turberville said.
He added that the skills learned in the lab will greatly benefit the special needs students who go out into the workforce.
School leaders said these projects are the first of their kind in the Colbert County School system.