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Donation hits the mark

Some shiny new furniture welcomed students in a classroom at Elephant’s Fork Elementary School this week.

The furniture was won by new School Board member Sherri Story at the Association for Learning Environments A4 statewide conference. Valued at almost $4,000, the set includes tables and chairs from VS America’s Shift+ collection.

The new chairs include some that allow children to sit backwards, rock back and forth, or balance and wobble as they learn. This type of furniture that accommodates elementary students’ need to “get the wiggles out” is becoming more popular across the country, but it hadn’t yet made its way to fifth-grade teacher Adrienne Foster’s classroom.

Story said she chose to direct the furniture to Elephant’s Fork — and in particular, to a mobile classroom there — because she believes Elephant’s Fork has been underserved.

The furniture is particularly useful in a mobile classroom due to the limited space, officials said. It allows the classroom to be rearranged quickly to fit different lessons and activities, and it allows students to move around more even given the limited space in the classroom.

Two of Foster’s students, Damaiya Stephens-Smith and Devin Allen, already got to try the furniture out, and they gave it their seal of approval.

The school system is thrilled about the donation, officials said.

“Kids like to move a lot, and our philosophy is to let them, as long as it’s safe and they can work,” Principal Jessica Avery said.

“This helps us meet needs for cooperative learning. We are very appreciative,” Superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney said. “These allow children to move and helps some of them to stay focused.”

Many classrooms with this type of furniture have it because the teacher has received donations for it from parents, friends and family members. But we couldn’t be happier about this donation and the fact it is going to such a deserving classroom.