MOORE, Okla. - When we search our First Fidelity Bank Pay It Forward nominations, we look for those people making a substantial, positive difference in the lives of others.
Sometimes it's one person they are impacting, other times it’s a group- and that’s the case of Westmoore High School teacher Brenda Palmer.
The frenetic pace of a new school year can be hectic and difficult for students.
Especially those students who have special challenges learning.
So, Brenda helps her students decompress with what is called The Blue Room.
She says she got her inspiration for the room in a dream.
“I felt the cool water but yet we could breathe,” Brenda remembers. “That's when God said, ‘you're going to paint this sensory room’ is what He said, ‘for your students.’
So, she converted an old storage space at the school into a kind of underwater oasis.
Complete with blue walls adorned with paintings of sea life, like dolphins and other fish. She added dim lights and soothing music.
She brings her students into The Blue Room to help them decompress and calm themselves before their classes start.
And it’s working.
The kids love it and the Blue Room is getting rave reviews from parents.
Because of what she’s done, Brenda’s friend Kimberly Duvall nominated Brenda for Pay It Forward.
"She has put her heart and soul into this,” Kimberly told us. “It's just something that I felt like she put all of her effort in all summer long spent all day every day up here painting. She literally pours her life out to help them in every area and their families also."
Tammy Brakebill from First Fidelity gave us the $400 cash reward and we surprised Brenda with it in her classroom.
With tears in her eyes, Brenda told us what her kids mean to her.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t even explain Mr. Ogle how much I love my students. They mean everything to me. I tell them all the time. I have 5 of my own children...but I have an extension.” Pointing to the students in the class she said, “they're my babies."
Brenda Palmer: Paying it forward with a special room that adds a special light to anyone walking out to meet the day.
Pay It Forward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.