May 13, 2013

As part of Catholic Education Week activities, several members of the St-Charles community gathered at École St-Charles Borromée on May 8 to celebrate the opening of the school’s new multisensory Snoezelen room. The room was created through the efforts of educators Denise Anderson and Francine Lagrandeur, who wanted to create this type of space that could benefit special needs students and support them in their learning.


Through the support of the Club Alidor, several community partners and school staff, the creation of this room became a reality. École St-Charles Borromée is now equipped with a Snoezelen room and can offer special needs students a soothing space where they can grow and learn.

 Snoezelen rooms are designed to allow special needs students to explore material in a peaceful environment. The main goals are to let the students relax and to stimulate all five of their senses in a space that vivifies the body, emotions and creativity, allowing the emergence of a different kind of relationship with the surrounding world that is free of cognitive acquisition and functional performance pressure.

This is the Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario’s third Snoezelen room, the other two being in École Ste-Marie (Azilda) and École Jean-Paul II (Val Caron). Aware of the many benefits of the room, École St-Antoine (Noëlville) and École St-Thomas (Warren) are looking at the possibility of sending their own special needs students to École Saint-Charles, located some 20 kilometers away, so that they reap the benefits of this highly desirable environment.

“Our special needs students that suffer from autism, attention disorder, hyperactivity or bereavement can greatly benefit from using this room. Some will appreciate its calming effects, while others will enjoy the stimulation it provides and be able to return to class in an improved state of mind,” explained École St-Charles Borromée educator Francine Lagrandeur.

“The Snoezelen room encourages students and is a source of motivation and reward for work well done,” added Denise Anderson, educator at École St-Charles Borromée. “Many students do not know any strategies to help them relax. This space helps them learn to self-regulate, which is an important ability that will accompany them throughout their adult lives.”

The Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario offers a French Catholic Educational Program that is widely recognized for its excellence. The CSCNO provides a quality learning environment and academic program that runs from early childhood to adult education, with some 7,000 students in 27 elementary and 10 secondary schools.


Paul de la Riva

Communications and Community Development Coordinator

Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario

(705) 673-5626, ext. 294

(705) 677-8195 – cell phone