Stacey Givens, Founder and Board President of Make a Way Foundation, told fellow Rotarians of her mission to have a sensory room in every city and county school in Limestone County.
The impetus of her mission came about when her young son, Brooks was diagnosed with autism at 3-years-old.
After seeing how a sensory room experience at a Madison clinic was helping her son, she asked that FAME Academy at Brookhill Elementary where he attended allow her to put some equipment in a faculty room. As other children used the equipment, the teachers and administrators began to see the benefits to all the children that used the sensory room and equipment to express themselves or to let off steam without disrupting their classmates and teachers. Other schools contacted her about the possibility of sensory rooms in their buildings after hearing of the good results with the students. Statistics show that 1 in 44 individuals are diagnosed with autism and other sensory processing disorders. These numbers show that approximately one in every two classrooms with around 25 students has a child with the need for the sensory room experience.
Initial donations from Athens Rotary Club, Ladies Civitan and Lions Club and individual donations completed the first room at Brookhill. She was then encouraged to form a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called the Make A Way Foundation so her mission of a sensory room in every Athens City and Limestone County school could be realized.
As of today, all the Athens City schools K-12 have a sensory room. East Limestone and Creekside Elementary also have rooms. Currently, funds are available for Elkmont High School, Elkmont Elementary and Tanner sensory rooms. Ardmore, West Limestone and Piney Chapel are still in the process of getting funding.
If you would like to help this project, all donations are tax deductible through a Make A Way Foundation Post Office Box 1768, Athens, AL 35612 or visit their website at