Tyler Elementary School teacher enhances classroom through Walmart grant
Posted on 11/18/2019
Tyler Elementary fourth graders using flexible seating choices in classroom

Students in Rosemary Womack’s fourth-grade class at Tyler Elementary are sitting pretty — or standing pretty if they choose— thanks to a grant from Walmart. An uncomfortable student can be a distracted, unproductive student, and Womack felt having flexible seating options in her room would help students succeed and tie in with the “mindfulness” efforts at the school. Mindfulness is a practice that helps reduce distraction, anxiety and behavior, and helps foster qualities of resilience, curiosity, reflection, and focus.

Womack applied for a Walmart Community Grant and was awarded $1,000 to outfit her classroom with flexible seating.

“Together with my students, we decided where the grant money could best be spent for the success of all students,” shared Womack. “We purchased a floor cushion for each student so they could comfortably ‘move around the room’ when completing independent or small group work.”

Womack’s classroom is now also home to 10 "surf desks." These are floor desks that students can use when they need a writing surface but aren't feeling productive or comfortable at their desk in their chair. For students who are most productive on their feet, there are now "bed risers" that lift one of the classroom’s rectangular tables making it the perfect height for students to stand and complete work.

Students on Yoga mats in hallway

Yoga mats were purchased that students can move from the classroom to the hallway for buddy reading. There is also now a nature sound machine in one corner of the room for students who like the soothing sounds while they work.

Each student desk also is now equipped with an elastic foot rest band that helps both students with excess energy and those experiencing anxiety.

Womack is seeing wonderful results already. “There are enough options that students are able to choose flexible seating or their desk, and opportunities to take a breath, enjoy the moment, and continue on with assignments.”

Students using surf desks in classroom.