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      Teacher Finds Using Stability Balls in Class to be Beneficial for Students

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      Giving kids an extra boost at a young age can go a long waywhen it comes to health and wellness.

      Many of us know that in today's day and age, kids can useall the help and reinforcement they can get when it comes to establishinghealthy lifestyles.

      And one area teacher has been trying a new approach toengaging children.

      Stability balls...when most see them they think of the gym.

      But in the last few years they've been making their way intoKearney classrooms like mike Anderson's class at Northeast Elementary.

      "I really like using the balls because it does allowkids a little bit of extra movement without bothering other kids around them. AndI think kids do need that. Sitting in a chair all day is not that comfortableas we know as adults. So it's been very successful having those in theclassroom," she said.

      Anderson wrote up a grant for the balls after a UNK studywas done with a group of fourth graders at the school.

      After some research of her own found they could bebeneficial to student's health.

      She said, "It allows a little bit of movement, comfort andbuilds their core. Especially those kids that have a little extra need formovement they're wonderful for that."

      Parents have also been on board with the idea and areallowed to try them out themselves during parent's night.

      And while the balls are an option to chairs, after learningthe rules and how to properly sit on them during class students prefer them toregular chairs.

      "You can'tjump." "Your feet have to be onthe ground at all times, you cannot lift your feet up. And you have to keep italways by your desk."

      "You try not to get your scissors down by the ballbecause you might pop it."

      "I think that we're lucky to sit on these,"students said.

      And while she hasn't done scientific studies with thestudents, Anderson said she feels the proof of their effectiveness shows by theend of the year.

      "The kids will talk about how much stronger they aregetting. You'd be amazed to see how well they can balance by the end of theschool year."

      Teachers said the kids look forward to being in the classeswith the stability balls.

      Anderson plans to continue using them and would encourageother teachers to do the same.

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