The mission of the non-profit StandUpKids is threefold:
- To get every public school child at a standing desk in 10 years;
- To combat the epidemic of sedentary lifestyles and inactivity, and;
- To better reflect 21st century education goals.
To support that mission, StandUpKids.org provides education on the health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles and resources on why standing desks create an environment where children can become healthier and more active.
Much of the research on their web site comes as no surprise to educators, many of whom have known for years that kids need to move to learn and that physical activity and brain activity are directly related. One such educator is Jennifer Voeller, a third grade teacher at Illahee Elementary (Evergreen Public Schools).
Voeller describes herself as a huge proponent of standing desks in schools and alternative seating options. In her own classroom she has a raised table for standing along with balance boards. Her seating options include stability balls, wobble seats, a couch, bean bags and the floor itself. These options allow her students a variety of positions throughout the day, many of which help with focus, core strength and, she adds, “they tend to manage themselves better behaviorally too.”
In order to help teachers like Voeller equip their classrooms with standing desks, StandUpKids will award grants to 10 schools who apply. The application period is open until February 15, 2017, and the grant recipients will be announced April 1, 2017. For more information or to apply, visit: standupkids.org/apply-for-a-grant/