Reading specialist receives grant

Reading specialist receives grant for flexible seating
Posted on 12/05/2018

Drexel Elementary School reading specialist Suzanne Jensen received a $1,000 grant for flexible classroom seating from the Betsy and Fred Cranford Endowment through the Alpha Nu Chapter of the NC Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation.

As a reading specialist, Jensen works with students on improving their reading skills. She said research shows that students improve academically when study time incorporates movement versus a traditional stationary seated position.

Jensen said, “Many of my struggling readers also have focus and attention problems. Using active seating in the classroom gets students moving and helps improve cognitive performance, time on-task, concentration, and overall attitude toward learning. Flexible seating allows students to wobble, rock, or bounce which increases oxygen to the brain and core strength. It helps keep young minds more alert and focused. A positive learning environment helps students feel more comfortable during class which in turn helps improve motivation for learning.”

Jenson is grateful for the grant that allowed her to furnish her classroom with the bright, colorful seats that have a creative and modern look. She said the flexible seating allows students to quickly pair up or work in small collaborative groups without having to move chairs or desks.

Jensen’s goal is to see struggling readers get more excited about coming to reading class. “A more exciting learning environment is one way to help students improve attitudes towards school and learning,” she said. “Many of my students have trouble concentrating and are wiggly in stationary seats. These seats should give them some wiggle room without being disruptive while helping them stay focused on the lesson. An uncomfortable student is a distracted and unproductive student. These seats make it much easier to move around for partner work and collaborative group work in the classroom than the traditional student chairs.”

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said, “Kudos to Mrs. Jensen for seeking out this grant to upfit her reading classroom with this flexible furniture. We know that students today learn much differently than we did, and this is another great example of how we are meeting students where they are and doing what we can to help them be as successful as they can. Thank you to the Cranford Endowment, Alpha Nu and Delta Kappa Gamma for making opportunities such as this available to our teachers.”

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