Therapy Balls As Chairs: The Key To Kinder Success
My students need 21 therapy balls for chairs.
Imagine a kindergarten classroom gyrating with the excitement/nervous energy of 5 and 6 year-olds, many of whom have never been exposed to limits, expectations, or a classroom environment. I teach in a rural community on a reservation. Many kids need extra support for ADHD and concentration.
My class is composed of 21 wonderful Kindergarteners.
Each child is eager to learn but most need extra support including sensory, gross and fine motor skills, concentration, and hyperactivity. They live in a rural community on a reservation in WA state. Most of my students qualify free or reduced lunches and rely on public assistance to survive. Many of my students have been exposed to trauma (either physical or mental) leading to difficulties in learning. Our K-6th grade school is comprised of just over 500 students, which qualifies for Title 1 services. The percentage of SPED students far exceeds the national average. Our district (one elementary, middle, and high school) is working toward increasing the graduation rate and decreasing substance and alcohol abuse.
Twenty- one therapy balls have the potential to provide a firm foundation in learning the basics for low-income children who are considered "high risk". Using therapy balls as chairs encourages students to balance by using their core muscles. Students are constantly moving, just a little, to stay balanced which increases blood flow to the brain. Another benefit of using these balls as chairs is that it helps with the "wiggles" and increases focus. Finally, sitting on therapy balls encourages better posture and helps build core muscles which in turn increases small motor skills, such as writing. Victoria Bill conducted research in 2008 on the "Effects of Stability Balls on Behavior and Achievement in the Special Education Classroom". She found "Not only was behavior affected, but achievement in fluency, comprehension, addition facts, subtraction facts, and Saxon math probes improved." By donating, you will be providing a chance for these children to succeed.
With your help, the playing field will be leveled for these kids who deserve to be able to focus and love learning even if they do not always get the support they need at home.
Students who have the opportunity to use these therapy balls as chairs will be able to think more clearly (because of increased blood flow to their brain), have better penmanship (because of emphasis on fine motor skills), will have better posture, and stronger core muscles.
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