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Prize will make life easier for Meadowview Elementary teacher

One day, Meadowview Elementary School teacher Sue Williamschen liked a page on Facebook. She even entered a sweepstakes on that page. And now her students are reaping the benefits of that simple action.

The page was for Blue Sky Designs, makers of a somewhat inconspicuous gadget called a "Mount'n Mover." Most people wouldn't have looked twice at it, much less taken the time to register. But Williamschen figured, "Oh, what's to lose?" and she registered.

Here's the thing about Williamschen: she's a special education teacher at MVES. And the Mount'n Mover? Well, it's a handy new gadget that allows teachers like herself to free up their hands when working with working with kids in wheelchairs. It also allows those students to sit up tall and not get hunched over when they work on something in class.

Williamschen had heard about the Mount'n Mover at a workshop. She's got a family member in a wheelchair, and he'd purchased one for his own use. After hearing so many good things about it, she joined that Facebook page. And then she entered the Mount'n Mover Sweepstakes, and wound up winning one for her school

The piece is state of the art. It's made of lightweight material and has brackets that allow teachers or parents to attach it to a tabletop, wheelchair or any other surface. Different from the L-shaped brackets used in the past, Mount'n Mover can be raised or lowered, swept to the side or tilted. It retails for somewhere around $1,300, so Williamschen feels fortunate to have won it.

"It's a great device," Williamschen said. "It can adjust to every angle you would ever want to adjust something for a child."

She has two students using the Mount'n Mover at Meadowview -- they're in her classroom at different times during the day -- and she's pleased by how much it's helped those students so far

"They sit up really nice and tall, and it gives them more motor control. Since I'm also an (occupational therapist), I really like that," she said. "The whole gear is designed for people who have limited movement or difficult control with movement. This puts them into a position to let their muscles do their best work."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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