My students are amazing. I teach in an inner city International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. This year, I am serving twelve students with special needs in a self-contained setting called a Language and Learning classroom. Three are also English Language Learners.
Despite many obstacles, including trauma, chromosomal differences, autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities and poverty, my students come to school each day and on time, enthusiastically ready to learn.
They collectively have an excellent work ethic and do not back away from challenges.
Mine is a class of creative, artistic, multisensory learners, and I am honored to include you in their educational journey by inviting you to be a part of this special project I've decided to embark upon just for them.
In public schools today, kids do a lot of sitting on the class carpet. It's cozy and great for collaboration, but what if you're uncomfortable and can't sit up straight and concentrate? Please help my students by gifting them a way to get comfortable enough to do their best learning.
All of my students are classified by NYS as "Low SES", which is a fancy way of saying that they qualify for free lunch.
More and more research links poverty to all kinds of learning obstacles. Some time ago, I read an article about the link between poverty and poor "trunk strength" in children. I won't get into all the details here, but the gist is that children in poverty, for various reasons, struggle with the physical strength to sit up and sit still.
I notice this all the time when we are working in groups on the rug. We ask them to sit "criss cross, applesauce," but after a few minutes, they struggle. They sag. They rock. They lie down. They roll. They beg for chairs, which are too cumbersome to keep moving back and forth and defeat the purpose of us all getting close and collaborating. After considering the problem and reading the article I mentioned, I thought to myself: what if I provided them with some sitting support? Over time, I have, at my own expense and through donorschoose, obtained flexible seating options. They work well, but some have gotten too worn out and need to be replaced. That is what this grant does.
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