Who Is My Neighbor? (Flexible Seating at the Baby Fold)

Filling a classroom with large bouncing balls, wiggle seats, and fidget toys may sound like a recipe for chaos. But in fact, at The Baby’s Fold’s Hammitt Junior/Senior High School, teachers know that giving kids the opportunity to bounce, wiggle and squirm in the classroom helps them focus. 

Calvary’s connection to this need didn’t come through the usual channels…..there are lots of Calvary members and friends on The Baby Fold’s Board as well as employed at this incredible ministry.  However, this time it was an ecumenical connection that brought this need to my attention.  A new friend of mine, a clergywoman in the community, knew of the need and of our desire to fill such needs.  She contacted me to see if we might be interested…...and of course the answer was YES!

The need was for flexible seating at Hammitt Junior/Senior High School.  Our own Lori Bultemeier explained the incredible value of this seating.  “If a student can’t sit in their seat because their body wants to rock or move or be surrounded by something like a bean bag chair, that student isn’t going to learn.  It’s not that the student is misbehaving...it’s a physical response that is a part of that person’s very being.  Allowing a student who rocks to sit in a seat that rocks allows the learning process to happen.”  According to The Baby Fold newsletter:

When sensory needs are met, higher levels of academic and social learning are possible. “When we give our students the power of choice, we offer them a level of safety, so they are better able to learn and form connections with each other and with adults. We've already seen some great results!’ said Kelli Marion, one of the teachers at Hammitt Junior/Senior High. Kelli witnessed two young men in her classroom, who had struggled to connect, relaxing in comfortable chairs and having a conversation about a video game they both loved. Kelli remarked, "It's so nice to hear laughter from those two!

What an incredible opportunity to do something very simple, yet so valuable to students who have plenty of other issues to handle.  Do you ever wonder how your offerings are being used?  This is one of many excellent answers to that question.  Thank you for one of many ways you help children in this community and around the world.

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About the Author
Debbie Reese is the Co-Directing Pastor of Calvary UMC