Panagiotopoulos family donates Sensory Room to Souvenir Elementary

‘Her dedication was a labour of love,’ principal says of Mrs. Panagiotopoulos’ help

On November 29, an inauguration was held for a sensory room at Souvenir Elementary School. The sensory room was made possible thanks to the generosity of the Panagiotopoulos Family.

The new sensory room at Souvenir Elementary School.

A sensory room is a therapeutic safe space with a variety of equipment that provides students with special needs or limited communication skills with personalized sensory input and helps them calm and focus themselves so they can be better prepared for learning and interacting with others.

The time children spend in a sensory room helps them improve their visual, auditory and tactile processing, as well as fine and gross motor skills. It also helps students manage negative thoughts and emotions.

Finding inner balance

Sensory rooms provide opportunities for engagement in prevention and crisis de-escalation strategies and promote self-care/self-nurturance, resilience and recovery. In a nutshell, sensory rooms help students find their inner-balance.

Mr. and Mrs. Panagiotopoulos met with the school principal, Ms. Kalipolidis, last year and informed her, that they wanted to leave a legacy in their son Bobby’s name for all the support, dedication and quality services he had been receiving during his journey at Souvenir Elementary School.

Everything was put in place so that the sensory room would be finished this year as Bobby is in grade six and moving on to high school next year. The school took care of getting the room ready with new flooring and fresh paint and the Panagiotopoulos Family took care of the rest.

‘A labour of love’

Not only did they contribute financially to the sensory room, Mrs. Panagiotopoulos would also come by the school often and donate her time. To quote principal Kalipolidis, “Her dedication was a labour of love.”

According to SWLSB chairman Paolo Galati, council was so touched by the Panagiotopoulos family’s generosity that the commissioners wanted to recognize the couple during the Nov. 14 council meeting. “Thank you so much for all you have done for the students of Souvenir Elementary School,” said Galati, while presenting them with a plaque in recognition of their help.