Work Through the Wiggles

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Studies show that literacy skills and attention skills impact each other. At Donaldsonville Primary School, a designated area was created this year to help students with attention deficits to learn strategies to help them to be more successful in the classroom.

The structured environment was equipped with a selection of seating and tactile activities for students. Students could begin their day with a few minutes in the safe area and for breaks as needed throughout the day. Self-regulation skills were taught during these breaks to help with inattentive behaviors in the classroom.

Personnel at Donaldsonville Primary could bring students for breaks when needed. The students enjoyed the short break where they were able to calm their bodies by doing exercises, tactile activities or calming exercises. The students could work out their wiggles so that they could return to class and attend to their literacy or math activities. The school's data is showing a decrease in the number of off-task behaviors and an increase in the number of students performing on grade level at this time compared to last year. A 1st grade student commented that she enjoyed having the opportunity to calm herself in the designated area and that it helped her to return to class and focus on her work.

Funds for this grant were provided by Freeport McMoran Foundation through the Ascension Fund. The Ascension Fund is a non-profit organization established in 1991 by the Gonzales Rotary Club as an instrument for private sector leaders to invest directly in the work of individual teachers and schools through grants for innovative ideas and programs in Ascension Parish public schools. Teacher Grants of $500 or $1000 and School improvement Grants of $2,500 are awarded on a annual competitive basis. To date, the Ascension Fund has awarded approximately 1,250 grants representing over $1.5 million dollars in the school system. For more information, visit

Contributed by Donaldsonville Primary School