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Stand Up for Learning

Stand Up For Learning

After learning about a study at the Mayo Clinic about children moving as part of their lessons using "standing" desks, Abby Brown, a Minnesota teacher of more than 22 years, decided the concept would work for her students. Finding nothing available on the market, Brown approached a local furniture company to make desks that allow students to stand while they work. And the concept of Stand Up For Learning was born.

Brown’s AlphaBetter™ student desk, acquired by Safco, is the central part of what Safco has named the Stand Up For Learning concept and Mayo has termed the “classroom of the future.” The adjustable-height desk has a pendulum footrest that allows students to swing their legs and feet, whether standing or sitting on the tall stools behind the desks. Research by Mayo and at the University of Minnesota indicates that, by allowing students to move and channel their energy during class, the ergonomic new desks may help students stay more alert and feel more energetic. Burning off energy by standing up and moving around may also reduce behavior problems. And stand-up desks may help fight obesity by allowing kids to burn more calories while they are at school. Other potential benefits associated with stand-up learning may be improved behavior and learning for ADHD students.

Brown funded the desks with a grant from the Education Minnesota Foundation. Other educators in Minnesota and Wisconsin have followed her lead and are using the AlphaBetter™ desks in their classrooms. Funding is available through the NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants. Applications may be submitted anytime. The applications are reviewed three times a year: February 1, June 1, and October 15.

Stand Up for Learning video

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