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Way to Go! Deer Park student creates sensory box for special-ed enrichment

Robert Punger, a senior at Deer Park High

Robert Punger, a senior at Deer Park High School, created a sensory box for special needs students at his district's John F. Kennedy Intermediate School. Credit: Deer Park School District

A Deer Park High School student is stimulating the senses of special-education pupils in his school district.

Robert Punger, a senior and Boy Scout, recently spearheaded the creation of a wooden "sensory box" in which each side contains a different sensory item: chimes, cowbells, cymbals and triangles. It is stationed in a sensory hallway that is being created at his district's John F. Kennedy Intermediate School.

The project was part of his Eagle Scout Service Project. Punger is a member of Troop 86.

"It actually came out better than I expected," said Punger, 18. Of the box's importance for special education students, he said: "It stimulates a portion of their brain and it helps them interact with their environment."

Punger collected $875 last year for the project through Facebook; $700 went to the sensory box and the remainder was donated to the school for its upcoming sensory hallway.

"He wanted to do something different and something that could be used for our students with special needs," John F. Kennedy Principal Kelly Benson said. "It brought joy to their faces, and I am sure it will continue to be a resource for all of our students at JFK."

Punger is also captain of his school's track and field team, and a member of the National, Spanish, Math and Science honor societies.


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