Program Designed To Help Students With Special Needs a Success So Far

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- It’s the first of its kind in the Sioux Falls School District, a program designed to help kids with special needs enhance their learning through movement. Teachers at Susan B. Anthony Elementary School say it’s making a difference in students’ lives.

Marrina Kaun loves to encourage her students. As a teacher, she knows the importance reinforcement can have on children. For 20 minutes twice a day she and some of her students do different exercises to work on balance, posture, and other activities to improve their fine motor skills.

“You see benefits throughout the entire day. You see them sitting up straighter, you see them being able to focus for longer on tasks,” says Susan B. Anthony Elementary School Special Education Teacher, Marrina Kaun.

Marrina and some of her colleague’s started the “Action Based Learning Environment” program or ABLE to strengthen the kids cognitive thinking through movement.

“Meant to build up the foundational skills of these students in all the sensory areas,” says Susan B. Anthony Elementary School Occupational Therapist, Trish Nelson.

Every two weeks the stations are changed out and Marrina says she has seen a significant difference.

“They are just super happy and super excited about what’s going to be the new stations,” says Kaun. “The new equipment engages them and allows them to have that exploration,”

Teachers say research has proven that when kids are active, it helps improve their cognitive learning and that research is showing to be true thanks to the ABLE program.

“So our goal is to build the strong bases of foundational skills for students,” says Nelson. “So that they can be more effective in learning in their classrooms,”

“I have noticed a level of calm and focus amongst our students that I hadn’t observed in the prior two years,” says Susan B. Anthony Elementary School Principal, Marie Rickert.

All of the items in the classroom were bought new this year through the support of the community. Organizers say they hope to expand the program with others in the school district. If you would like to help purchase more equipment’s for the students go to their GoFundMe page



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