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Grant Aids Elementary School in Helping Students Concentrate

October 1, 2018 2:09 p.m.

Teachers at Carl Sandburg Elementary School in Charleston are excited about having more options to help students manage their emotions better by taking an activity break.

The school recently received a grant for the new activity equipment, including exercise mats, bean bags, Twister games, activity dice, theraputty, weighted lap pads, tranquil turtle and frog and yuck-e-balls, thanks to a $1,000 grant from Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Healthy Kids program.

Carl Sandburg plans to use these items to help students learn how to regulate their emotions or feelings to help them concentrate better and learn in the classroom. “We saw a need to provide more movement options that allows students to stay in the classroom,” Carl Sandburg Assistant Principal Patty Murphy said. “Sarah Bush Lincoln has been a great resource in helping us find alternative ways to help kids be successful and we are very thankful because finding the extra funding for these items is challenging. The sensory items are in hot demand.”

Murphy explained that the sensory items, such the tranquil turtle with soothing lights and sounds and theraputty (similar to silly putty), are often offered to help calm students when they become agitated. “It helps to keep their hands occupied and keep them in the classroom,” she said.

The additional equipment including floor mats and activity dice offer physical activity options for students who might need a movement break during the day. “The kids roll the dice and it tells them to do 10 jumping jacks or four sit ups,” Murphy explained. Games such as Twister are available for teachers to use in the classroom when students aren’t able to go outside for recess. “It still allows them to get up and move,” she said. “Our goal is to find more ways to help kids be successful.”

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Carl Sandburg Assistant Principal Patty Murphy and Carl Sandburg students display the new activity equipment. Students pictured left to right are: Hudson Campbell, Jackalyn McKibbon, Colin Fields, Jordynn Massie and Mariah Waddell.

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