Southlake Journal

May 28, 2014

Exercise balls have students bouncingfor benefit at Bransford Elementary

Exercise balls have students bouncing at Bransford Elementary

Second-graders at Bransford Elementary School are bouncing and wiggling in their “seats” — to the delight of their teachers.

Bransford recently received a donation of 25 exercise balls from North American Spine to use in place of traditional chairs in their classrooms.

They will use the new seating arrangement to not only help improve student posture, but also to increase their attentiveness and focus, according to school officials.

Jon Sasser, who represents the Dallas-based company that donated the stability balls, visited the students last week to provide a demonstration.

The school had been researching the possibility of getting the round chairs when Sasser talked with a neighbor who was a principal in the school system and learned that Bransford was seeking grants for the equipment.

“It was the perfect timing and the perfect scenario for us to come in and help out these kids,” Sasser said.

Second-grade teacher Lauren Vise said she and fellow teacher Tiffany Floyd love the new “seating chart.”

“We wanted a way to help those kids who were kind of wiggly and needed a way to channel all that energy,” Vise said. “It helps them get all the wiggles out and still be able to focus on their work.”

Sasser said their research has shown that exercise balls “not only improve grades, but obviously posture.”

He added that they were “excited” to hear about the school’s willingness to take such a progressive approach to learning.

He said the business was glad to make the donation — knowing that “times are tight.”

“Not every want or need of the school district can be met,” Sasser said. “So when Bransford Elementary didn’t get the grant they requested, we wanted to step up and help out. We’re committed to making a positive impact on the lives of local children.”

Student Madelyn Engle is a fan, saying, “You can move around and not distract anyone. And they aren’t that loud, either.”

Vise said she has already seen an improvement.

“They’re doing what they supposed to be doing when they are supposed to be doing it,” the second-grade teacher said.

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