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Marin County School Nixes Sedentary Education With Standing Desks For Students

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) -- A lot of people say we should stand up for education but, at Vallecito Elementary in San Rafael, they're actually doing it.

"To me, this is the wave of the future," says 4th grade teacher Maureen Zink.

In four of the school's classrooms, chairs have been removed and students spend the day standing at their desks. Some parents, concerned about how sedentary kids have become, donated money for the new desks.

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A lot of the kids thought the change was weird and it took a few weeks for legs to stop being sore.

But then something really weird started happening -- the kids began to like it.

"You can get your bones stretched out and you don't, like, want to get it stretched in together again," 1st grader Marley Metzger explained.

To which 4th grader Lola Maggioncalta adds, "To me it's really fun and it makes me more focused."

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It turns out all that energy the kids have at recess doesn't just evaporate when they get back in the classroom. Instead of tiring students out, the new desks allow them to let off a little steam. In fact they come equipped with a swinging foot stand, aptly called a "fidget bar."

"It allows for the students to really kind of wiggle, but their mind and focus is still on me," Gina Roberts, a 4th grade teacher at Vallecito Elementary, told KPIX 5.

When asked if he thought the new desks make him a better student, Henry Northcutt was honest: "I'm not sure about that part," he said with a laugh.

The teachers are convinced. They say the kids are calmer and more attentive and parents say the children sleep better at night. What seemed at first like a kooky Marin County idea is having a real benefit.

"You know, you can roll your eyes all you want, but you need to come and see it," Zink said.

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