LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – The Longview ISD Board of Trustees approved the purchase of sensory-friendly playground equipment on Monday for five different elementary schools.

“Sensory play and sensory playground equipment allows for accessibility for children of all ages and abilities,” Cindy Verhalen, LISD director of special programs said. “Sensory playground equipment helps children develop problem-solving skills, express emotion, promotes empathy, and engenders lasting confidence.”

The equipment will cost $76,000 total, according to the district, and funding will come from IDEA-B Formula-ARP grant money.

The sensory equipment has been approved to be installed at the Bailey, Bramlette, J.L. Everhart, Johnston-McQueen and Ware elementary schools. Verhalen said these campuses currently “lack appropriate equipment for students with significant disabilities and those with autism.”

Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said this is part of the district’s priority to “meet children where they are” and provide them a beneficial educational experience.

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