January 24th marked an exciting milestone as Rachael Schiefelbein, the Intermediate Unit 1 Social Worker for the Trinity School District, received the prestigious Tanger Outlets, Pittsburgh Kids Grant. This grant aims to enhance the learning environment by introducing Calm Down Cozy Corners into each classroom, providing students with designated spaces for de-escalation regardless of their location within the school. Representatives from Tanger Outlets Pittsburgh traveled to the district to present the grant, where they were warmly welcomed by Rachael, her colleagues, as well as prominent figures such as IU1 Assistant Executive Director Dr. Kristin Szewczyk and IU1 Supervisor of Mental Health Services, Charisse Bowman, LSW. During their visit, Dr. Szewczyk and Charisse were given a tour of Rachael's classroom, gaining insight into how the grant funds would be utilized to procure essential items aimed at creating a secure and calming environment to effectively assist children in managing their emotions.
The tour showcased Rachael's meticulous planning and vision for the implementation of the grant, emphasizing the importance of investing in resources that foster emotional regulation and well-being among students. Through the purchase of various items tailored to create a safe haven for students, such as sensory tools and relaxation aids, Rachael demonstrated her commitment to nurturing a supportive learning environment. The introduction of Calm Down Cozy Corners reflects a proactive approach towards addressing students' emotional needs, underlining the district's dedication to promoting holistic development and academic success.