By Sarah Lehr
Eight-year-old Emily Snitzer says the special chairs in her second-grade classroom allow her to “get the wiggles out” during the school day.
The Michael “Mickey” Soroka Foundation, which is named for a former Campbell City Schools teacher, donated special seating to the four second-grade classrooms at Campbell K-7 School.
Soroka, himself a Campbell Memorial High School graduate, died in 2011 after collapsing in the high school’s multimedia room. He was 49.
The new furniture allows for greater flexibility and movement. The foundation donated yoga balls, beanbag chairs, spinning seats, stools and a standing desk. There also are elastic bands that attach to desks and allow students to put up their feet.
When the district acquired the equipment this school year, teachers set rules for using the “alternative seating” and explained that its use is a privilege.
Second-grade teacher Lori Calcagni said the furniture is ideal for activities such as silent reading.
“You might have noticed how quiet the classroom is right now,” Calcagni said as students lounged in beanbag chairs and bounced on yoga balls. “It’s helped them focus. It’s cut down on disciplinary problems.”
She added: “It’s student-centered. It gives them more choice.”
James Klingensmith, K-7 principal, said teachers have seen positive results since they introduced alternative seating into their classrooms.
“The more focused they are, the more engaged they are,” Klingensmith said of students.
Marc Rojas, 8, praised the new seating, as he completed a worksheet and reclined in a beanbag chair.
“It kind of helps us work,” he said. “It’s more fun than sitting at a hard, wooden desk.”