TEMPE, AZ - Getting kids to pay attention in class is nothing new, but with new technology and higher expectations, it's harder than ever. In Tempe, one teacher is taking an old-school problem and using a modern-day approach to help students thrive and she's asking for community support.
Sarah Seay leads a class of 25 third-graders at Rover Elementary School.
She says 8-year-olds have a lot of fun in class, but says it's also a turning point where the lessons get more demanding.
"Just like we have things that set us off and change our emotions throughout the day, we have to recognize that kids have those same stressors in their day," said Miss Seay.
Miss Seay has already started lessons in breathing and meditation to help the kids focus and learn about mindfulness, and now she's ready to add another tool to her classroom: wiggle chairs.
They let the kids get the wiggles out without distracting others so everyone can focus.
She's also done the research and wants to add crystal salt lights and essential oil diffusers to help her students stay calm.
"My thing right now is, you need to be in the right mindset, in work or school, in order to perform your best," she said.
Arizona schools are strapped for cash and Seay says it's become the norm to reach into her own pocket and spend $50 to $100 every month or two on extra supplies to enhance her lessons. However, this is beyond her budget and she doesn't want that to hold her students back.
Miss Seay is now trying to raise just over $1,400 for ten chairs, two lamps and two diffusers. She's using the funding site, DonorsChoose.org to reach her goal. The site is quickly becoming the campaign website of choice for schools.
Several teachers at Rover Elementary have advertised successful campaigns there to fill their classrooms.