WESTPORT- Walking into Kathy Bedore's fifth-grade classroom, people immediately notice that something is different.
The students have no chairs.
Instead, the students sit on WittFitt stability balls.
The balls are part of a pilot program that Bedore and her class are participating in, replacing their chairs with an inflatable ball that looks like the ones used for exercise.
"So far, I think that this has been a good thing," Bedore said. "We have rules about the use of the stability balls, and so far the kids have been very good about keeping them. They have to keep them clean and take care of them."
The stability balls have no backing, requiring the children to keep proper posture throughout the day.
"It has definitely helped with the posture of the students," Bedore said. "They have to keep both feet on the floor. Posture is a big thing with young students these days and I have seen a difference since we started using the stability balls. It's great to have an opportunity to do something like this."
Bedore said that there was another benefit to the new seating arrangements, as well.
"I noticed immediately that it helps the students with their focus," she said.
The students will be using the stability balls throughout the rest of the school year, and Bedore hopes that the practice will be able to spread to other classrooms, as it has into the school's main office, where Janet Hoff and Kathi DesJardins also use the stability balls.
Students will also write letters to the company who created the stability balls, WittFitt, about their experience with the product.
"They have a lesson plan that goes along with the stability balls so the students are learning from several different subjects while they use them," Bedore said.