• Ms. Belmont's Speech at the Gym Hero Inauguration Ceremony

    Nathan Bishop celebrated the opening of its first therapeutic sensory gym on Friday January 28th named, Gym Hero. In response to the Pandemic our schools main concentration has been the emotional wellbeing and mental health of our students. I felt that we needed more tools to help our kids experiencing emotional distress and started searching for ways to help our kids. I partnered up with Mr. Richard Jackson to create a space with a variety of equipment that provides students with a personalized sensory input experience. In utilizing this space the whole school will be able to improve their mental and physical health while managing their emotions and frustrations. We had the full support from our administration and were able to spread our wings with this project. Thank You to Gloria Jackson and Edward Halpin for your unconditional support and encouragement throughout this project.


    This whole experience has been magical for me. It was my first time working with the PTO on a

    schoolwide project and we are so thankful for everything that they did. Maya DeHart and Kate Hanley weremy point people on this and they organized everything from a PTO paint night to gathering community donations. Thank you to the parents that showed up for paint night including my husband that spent hours transforming the space for our kids. We worked as an amazing team while bouncing ideas off of each other and made this vision come to life. I honestly cannot wait to work with the PTO again on my next endeavor. The Teachers and staff at Nathan Bishop donated money to Gym Hero through a dress down day which helped us buy equipment. Adler & #39;s Design Center & amp; Hardware in Providence donated all the paint to transform the space which we greatly appreciate. Most of the funding came from Donors Choose projects that I posted which very generous people all over the United States funded. Kellogg's Mission Tiger program matched each donation onDonors choose which really sped up the process of funding and enabled us to put the gym together in less than six months. I could never have completed this project without the help of Mr.Jackson.


    Our vision also includes not just improving mental & physical health but also improving student attendance and hopefully we will see a decline in student classroom disruptions. If a student is having a bad day they can spend ten minutes in Gym Hero and rid themselves of that energy then hopefully return to class ready to learn. If a student is having a hard time sitting in their seat because of some pent up energy they can go down to the gym and have a sensory experience to work off that energy and be ready to return to class.

    The school psychologist and social worker will also be using the room to hopefully have remarkable breakthroughs with kids. The adaptive PE teacher, vision team and occupational therapist will also be using the Gym Hero at Bishop to assist our kids. These are a few examples of how the space will be used.


    Something Special about the Gym is that the students built it with us each step of the way. They will remember helping Mrs. Zonfrillo sweep up the floor and assisting myself build the lego wall. They will look back at the time they ripped up the old mat covering the floor with Mr. Lopez. They will remember how much work it was to take out the old flooring with Mr. Allamby and Mr. Ucci and how good they felt when it was allclear! Mr. Jackson supervised each piece of equipment in the gym being built by a student! Students will remember Me. Jesse teaching them the proper way to use the equipment so that they are safe. So many people played a part in either the donation aspect or physical building of Gym Hero and it makes me so proud to be a part of this school community.