BROOKLYN, MS (WDAM) - Students at South Forrest Attendance Center aren't limited to sitting in a desk during the day now that the school has implemented flexible seating options, like standing desks and stretchy foot rest bands.
Principal Kim Dolan said a segment on NBC Nightly News sparked the idea, and shortly after, five standing desks were donated to the school by people across the country through the website DonorsChoose.org.
"We used them in the classroom and saw it was a great tool for the students," Dolan said. "Our PTO donated some money. We purchased about 35 stand up desks, and they're working out great in the classroom."
As a former teacher, Dolan said she isn't surprised they're working.
"When I taught, I had students that liked to stand up or get at my desk and sit, so we tried it," she said. "These days, kids are so active and need to get out energy. Not all students learn by sitting in a desk all day, so we thought it was a great option to have it. Let them stand. They can move about and still hear the instruction and still participate in the classroom."
Bouncy Bands are another new addition to traditional classroom desks at South Forrest that give students a bungee-cord-like place to rest their feet.
"One of my teachers found those," Dolan said. "We ordered a couple of those, and she used them last year. They were a great tool. The kids that sit at the desk, they're just able to move their feet, and get some of that energy out and still focus on what they need to be doing."
Aside from helping them focus in an individual class, research suggests that kind of small physical activity may improve their attention, cognitive processing speed and performance on standardized tests.
"Not all students learn by sitting in a desk all day," Dolan said. "Having that flexibility to stand or move about or just move their feet, it just gets some of that energy out, and they still are able to focus."
Dolan said it lets students learn how they learn most effectively.
"They know it's OK (to move), whatever works for you," Dolan said. "Whatever is the best way to learn is OK in the classroom."
She also said it helps teachers accommodate every student.
"They love it," Dolan said. "They tell me all the time how wonderful they are, and if we have any extra money, they would like to buy some more to get more within the school. Teachers are always looking for ways to improve instruction, and this is just another way to help students learn."