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Our mission: The Southington Education Foundation, Inc.

is committed to instilling a life-

long love of learning in all children through innovative, creative learning experiences that
expand upon existing educational opportunities. The foundation will partner with the
community to secure resources, inspire excellence, and enrich student achievement.
(Established 2009, Revised 2015)


Important: The grant committee will use a “blind” review process in evaluating each proposal. In order to
maintain the integrity of the process, DO NOT include the names of the applicants, schools, or other identifying
features in the Grant Application below. Please submit a typed, complete application electronically to at any time of the year.
2/16/19 $1972.46
The Zen Dens
Classroom environments that support the social-emotional needs of all students

Lenore Butler & ____________________

William Strong Elementary School Rooms 23 & 24
As the building principal, I have reviewed this application. By signing this application, I indicate my support
for the application and the project.

__________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________
Print Name Principal’s Signature
This Box is For Committee Use Only: Grant Number:

PROJECT TITLE: Zen Dens ( Grade 5 Flexible Seating Classrooms)


SIGNIFICANCE: Explain why this project is important, what specific needs it will fulfill,
and how it will advance teaching and learning.

Emotional Intelligence /Advanced Communication and Social Skills/Enriched

Student Achievement/Developing 21st Century skills.

This grant project is important because it fits cohesively with our recent professional
learning around Emotional Intelligence and Instructional Learning Teams (ILT). During
the 2017- 2018 school year we started working on the Instructional Learning Team
process. We have since continued the work of data collection during the 2018-19 school
year. We identified a significant performance issue, collected data, defined the desired
student performance, and researched elements of exemplary practice. Our ILT topic is
student engagement. During our ILT research stage, we surveyed the students on how
engaged they felt they were throughout their core academic day. We also gathered data
by observing and tallying how often students showed signs of being off task. These signs
included; distracted by desk items, day-dreaming, fooling around, constant movement,
need for redirection to focus, as well as other off-task behaviors. We found that the
majority of the tallies we gave were given to students who have an ADD/ ADHD, LD, or
other social/emotional diagnosis.

As a grade 5 team we departmentalize. Our students move in and out of our two
classrooms throughout the day. It is our hope that having flexible seating in both our
rooms will allow for a seamless flow for learning.

We identified flexible seating as one of those essential elements of exemplary practice as it

relates to student learning and engagement. Flexible seating also blends seamlessly with
our Emotionally Intelligent Classroom set up and students being aware of their own
emotional needs and learning styles.

Advancement in teaching and learning will stem from students being able to choose what
flexible seating option works best for them to stay calm, focused and productive
throughout their academic day. Students will have access to the sensory input they need.
Ultimately, this will improve their social and academic behaviors. Our students will
become active participants in our 21st Century classrooms.

ALIGNMENT: Describe how the project aligns with the SEF mission (see above), including
a vision for increased S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics)
learning opportunities and/or developing 21st century skills (e.g., critical thinking,
advanced communication and social skills, technology literacy, leadership) using
innovative instructional approaches.
Flexible seating in our classroom directly ties in with the SEF mission of developing life-
long learners who are engaged in 21 Century skills. Flexible seating promotes a sense of
community, partnership, and collaboration to ALL students. Research shows that students
learn better when given the chance to collaborate with their peers. Flexible seating allows
students to easily partner up with others.

When students are given some control over their environment and who they are
collaborating with they become more invested in their learning. The ability to work with
others and share supplies helps to promote sharing and turn taking.

As the needs of our students change our classrooms need to change as well. This is also
true for our diverse student population. The exceptionalities presented in today’s
classroom are ELL, ADD, ADHD, and ASD to name a few. Many flexible seating options
include a sensory component. When a student’s sense of touch is stimulated it promotes
focus and the processing of information. Having seating available to these learners opens
up the classroom in a way that will welcome them into the 21 Century learning

This project also aligns with our Social Emotional training and supports the
implementation of strategies being rolled out in our classrooms. Students are learning to
identify and regulate their emotions. Having comfortable seating options throughout the
classroom allows students to remain calm, focused, and productive. Uncomfortable
students are distracted and unproductive. The flexible classroom seating will also include
materials for the calm down corners in our classrooms.

OBJECTIVES: List the primary objectives of the project.

1. Students will be able to choose what flexible seating option works best for them to
stay calm, focused and productive throughout their academic day.

2. Students will have access to the sensory input they need, ultimately improving
their behavior and decreasing disruptive behaviors.

PLAN OF ACTION: Describe how aforementioned objectives will be accomplished

including timeline for implementation. (If your project is time sensitive, please indicate
which weeks or months it will occur.)

Our plan for implementation is not time sensitive. We plan to set up our flexible seating
classrooms for the 2019 -2020 academic year.

IMPACT: List anticipated learner outcomes. Include how many and which students will
be served (e.g., targeted groups of students in district, specific grade levels/department, or

Anticipated learner outcomes:

Students will be able to choose what flexible seating option works best for them to stay
calm, focused, and productive throughout their academic day.
Students will have access to the sensory input they need, ultimately improving their
behavior and decreasing disruptive behaviors.

EVALUATION: Explain how the project will be evaluated including intervals for
measuring progress.

The Zen Dens project directly aligns with our ILT and Social-Emotional learning. It will be
monitored via student engagement assessments.

SUSTAINABILITY: Explain how the project will be sustained after SEF funds have been

The supplies will remain in the classrooms for years. They will be reused each school year.

OUTREACH: Describe how SEF will be acknowledged when this project is introduced,
published, or shared in educational presentations.

SEF board members will be invited into our classrooms to experience the benefits of the
Zen Dens.

BUDGET: Provide detailed projected costs for research, site visits, instructional materials,
equipment, and/or installation. Complete the budget table on the next page OR complete
the Excel spreadsheet found on the SEF website with the grant application (you do NOT
have to complete both forms). All applicants are expected to submit an itemized budget.

This Box is For Committee Use Only: Grant Number:

Project Title: Zen Dens

Classroom environments that support the social-emotional needs of all


Amount Requested: $1972.46

Start Date End Date

Budget Period: June 2019 June 2019

Itemized Expenses:
List quantity, item name, cost per unit, total cost for quantity
Include shipping/handling costs
The SEF will not fund costs for food
Provide the TOTAL cost for all items at the bottom of the last column

Quantity Item Name Cost per Unit Total Cost

10 Wobble cushions- Walmart 13.95 139.50

8 Stability balls- Walmart 13.92 111.36

8 Yoga mats- Walmart 7.99 63.92

8 Square floor pillows- Walmart 24.50 196.00

4 Bean Bag Chairs-Walmart 32.44 129.76

6 Bedrest Support Pillows- Walmart 16.87 101.22

2 Clipboard set of 24- Walmart 34.94 69.88

8 Kore Wobble Chairs- Amazon 63.99 511.92

10 Large Plastic Lap Tray- Walmart 7.97 79.70

4 Butterfly or Bag chairs- Walmart 24.99 99.96

2 Flash Furniture 45” round adjustable table- 110.00 220.00

2 Calming Water fountain-Walmart 22.00 44.00

2 Hourglass sand timer -Amazon 18.99 37.98

2 We’re All Wonders - Amazon 12.68 25.36

2 Those Shoes-Amazon 6.99 13.98

2 Each Kindness-Amazon 12.99 25.98

2 Weighted plush stuffed animal 39.99 79.98
2 Slow rise squishies- Amazon 4.99 9.98

2 Liquid timer-Amazon 5.99 11.98

Total including 1972.46

Free shipping


For further information, questions, or to submit an application, please contact

Please anticipate confirmation of receipt within one week of submission. All applications
will be reviewed on a regular basis. Applicants may be invited to present their
thoughts/reasons for applying for the grant at an SEF grant committee meeting or at an
SEF Executive Board meeting.

Thank you for your interest and support of the SEF mission. Through creative and
innovative learning experiences student learning is enriched.

Application REV. 10.6.17; 5.30.18