Leah Burke’s fourth-grade class at Bassett Elementary School won first place in the FriendsOffice W.R.I.T.E. (We Reward Innovative Teaching Endeavors) Program, receiving seven Runtz Ball Chairs for her class.
The W.R.I.T.E. grant program is intended to allow classrooms to use products available through FriendsOffice, based in Findlay. Burke’s class won the grand prize for their grant application “Empowering 4th Graders to Be Agents of Change in Their Learning Space.”
Burke wrote the introduction and closing paragraph for the grant, inviting her students to explain how they would use the energy ball chairs. Students Anna Mancino, Annabelle Samide, Bella Puchmeyer, Gabriella Cutter, Samantha Lundell and Kaylee Fogarty wrote, “If we had Runtz Ball Chairs in our classroom, we could take action within our project-based learning experience, have more flexible seating in our classroom, support students with different learning styles and disabilities, and create different and new ways to learn.”
“From our research, we learned that kinesthetic and tactile learners like to learn in similar ways because they both like to fidget. Students with autism could use the Runtz Ball Chairs to bounce up and down slightly and move back and forth. All students with different learning styles should have the chance to learn in a way that works for them,” they wrote.
Communications Manager Ashley Barger said the grants were rated on 10 components, including innovative ideas, creative presentation and selection of products form the FriendsOffice catalogue.
Schools in Indiana, Wapakoneta and Findlay won second, third and fourth prizes.