Going for Gold: Promoting Tactile and Physical Activity for Preschool Children with Disabilities

Having earned the Silver Award for promoting reading for elementary school children, Amelia, a Girl Scout Ambassador from Reading, was inspired to pursue the Gold Award to show how tactile stimulation and physical movement can help children with sensory processing disorders and challenges focus while reading.

Amelia wrote an interactive children’s book about a squirrel and his forest friends, titled, Fluffernutter and the Forest Fiesta. The book comes with a tactile box, which is filled with many objects for students to engage with, and additionally, there are small activities the students can do as they read the story. For example, when a page in the story is about a bird, the reader can touch a feather and flap his or her arms like a bird.

Amelia recruited art students to help with the illustration of the book, and she worked with other student volunteers to record an audio version of the story. She distributed physical copies of the book, tactile boxes and audio books to preschool classes at the Reading Integrated School Experience (RISE) Preschool.

Through her project, Amelia says she, “developed empathy and understanding for children, especially those who face physical and emotional challenges.”

Way to go, Amelia! We admire your creativity and hard work!

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