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Choose a chair and grab a new book

Kindergartner Lucas DeVore enjoys his wobble cushion (courtesy photo)

First-year kindergarten teacher Heather Carlson didn’t wait for school to start last fall to ensure her students had every benefit. Her efforts resulted in flexible seating and will provide new classroom books funded through a grant.

Last summer, the Kent City Elementary School teacher created a project through Donors Choose, a non-profit organization that helps supply classroom materials, to raise money for comfy and mobile seating options for students. 

Then, shortly after school began, she applied for a grant through the Michigan Literacy Project through Grand Valley State University. She raised the money, and received the $500 grant.

“Research shows that students learn best when able to move, and sitting in their standard chairs at their desk all day is not effective,” she said.

Carlson raised enough money in one week to purchase wobble stools, wobble cushions, and two reclining floor seats for her students.

Flexible seating enhances this classroom (courtesy photo)

“These seats are used every day and have helped with my fidgety students a lot,” she said.

The grant, she said, will “go towards books to help foster a love for reading in my classroom.”

GVSU is taking the grant to the Scholastic Warehouse, to purchase books buy-one-get-one-free, netting $1,000 worth of books. She credits the GVSU College of Education for making her aware of the grant.

“I am excited to see the impact this has in my classroom,” she said. “I have informed my students, who are thrilled to be getting more books.”

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Janice Holst
Janice Holst is a reporter covering Kent City and Sparta. She has been both a teacher and a journalist. A former MLive reporter, she wrote features and covered local government and schools for Advance Newspapers for nearly two decades. She also was a recipe columnist and wrote features for Mature Life Style and occasional entertainment pieces for On The Town magazines. She lives in Sparta Township and enjoys spending some of her retirement hours writing the stories of the northern Kent County school districts. Read Janice's full bio

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