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Alternative seating in the classroom may help students focus better

One Bibb County teacher uses "ball seats" for her kindergarten class.

Getting kindergarteners to sit still during class isn't an easy task, but Ingram Pye Elementary School teacher Roxanne Oppy might have a solution.

She received the Peyton Anderson "Teach to Inspire" grant last year and used the money to buy stability ball chairs for her students.

"It helps with movement, so they can move freer when they need to. They can lightly bounce or sway back and forth," Oppy said.

Oppy said the teachers' chairs are about $80 and the students' chairs are about $70 each.

Her former student Amorha Roberts sat in the ball chairs last year, and she said it helped her focus.

"It made me learn because they had balls in them. It just makes it more comfortable," Roberts said.

A study from the American Journal of Occupational Therapy shows that stability balls help kids with attention and hyperactivity concerns stay focused and sit still in the classroom.

Family nurse practitioner Shanita Ousborn thinks the alternative seats are beneficial.

"Children learn better when all of their senses are engaged. Alternative seating provides the opportunity to engage those senses, to have them move around in a creative learning environment," Ousborn said.

After having the ball chairs for a year, Oppy thinks it's helped her students focus better.

"I think the behavior overall after a long term is much better in the classroom," Oppy said.

Oppy is the only teacher at Ingram Pye with these chairs for now, but she says other teachers may apply for the same grant to get some for their students.