BUFFALO, N.Y. -It's a place of calm. It's a place where a fourth grade student said, "Whenever I get mad or angry at my teacher or classmate, I just go to the calming room and it helps me calm down." The new space inside a Buffalo school is designed to help students and reduce suspensions.
It's called the Russell Salvatore Reflection Room. Salvatore donated $5,000 so the room could be fully furnished with non-technology items like an aromatherapy machine, calming waters sound machine, a tent, bean bag chairs, a trampoline, and thera-putty. It's located inside Dr. George E. Blackman School of Excellence Early Childhood Center #54 inside School 54.
Principal Greg Johnson said, "New research says it give kids a chance to quickly get themselves back together and move them back to class and really reflect on how they can do things different next time."
The principal said it's useful. "We need a space when a five-year-old is just screaming and we need to be able to safely say, 'OK, scream, get it all out and let's get yourself back to class.' " It worked and the child was fine after going to the calming room.
It is not a place for discipline and there's a 5 to 10-minute time limit. School Social Worker Jessica Scholze said the concept is already working. "Our discipline referrals have gone down, our suspensions have dropped."
And if you wonder why such a room is needed in a school with children 10-years-old and younger, Scholze said, "When you put those academic standards with everything else, just daily life, kids need a break sometimes."