Occupational Therapist Mitzi Romanko has given new life to a Girl Scout project to help the students she works with in Houston ISD’s southeast feeder pattern.
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the daughter of Senior Director for School-Based Therapy Services Carie Crabb created 20 “Book in a Bag” kits for her Girl Scout Gold Project. They were stored and not used for the past several years due to COVID protocols. Earlier this year, Romanko found them and began using them in the HISD classrooms that she serves.
Each bag contains a different children’s board book and various multisensory items related to the story. The objects are designed to bring the book to life and allow students to experience the story through multisensory channels.
For example, a bag with the popular children’s title “Good Night Moon,” may contain items like a comb and a brush, which the child can hold to feel the textures. The objects also provide an opportunity for the OT or teacher to ask comprehension questions to the student or class.
When given multisensory input, children with multiple disabilities can participate in the story at their own level of exploration. This multisensory approach benefits students with a range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, autism, visual impairments and learning challenges.
For more information about HCDE School-Based Therapy Services, visit hcde-texas.org/school-therapy.