It’s important to highlight schools that are particularly great at inspiring kids to be more active and get the exercise they need. Physical activity in schools is becoming more and more essential, and there are a number of programs out there that can help your school improve. Hugh Brockway, a physical education teacher from Lovettsville Elementary School in Virginia, shares how his school made some important changes to make sure students get moving throughout the day. Here is his story:
It all began with our school becoming involved with Fuel Up to Play 60. Lovettsville Elementary has been active with Fuel Up to Play 60 since 2012. Since then, our school and students have made small, everyday changes to encourage students to eat healthy and be active for at least 60 minutes every day.
Our school was recognized by Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and the Washington Redskins for a project that the students help lead. They decorated breakfast grab and go bags with positive messages and pictures to remind other students to eat a healthy breakfast every day. The Redskins sent a player to visit our school and celebrate these healthy ideas. From that day forward, our school has accomplished so much regarding healthy positive changes for our students and staff.
Fuel Up to Play 60 also promotes other school programs to help get kids active at school, like Let’s Move! Active Schools and The Alliance of a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program. It is here where I learned much more about how to enroll Lovettsville Elementary into the program, complete assessments on how active our school is and how much more active it could be, how to implement more healthy changes, and how to apply for these awards.
A moment that strikes me as this is successful is at our award assembly in November of this school year. I put a presentation together with video clips from Mrs. Obama and from the Alliance of a Healthier Generation and showed it to our entire school and parents. It pulled everything together regarding the small changes that we have been making at our school. The video and slides have really inspired teachers at Lovettsville to do even more activity breaks, active engagement, GoNoodle breaks, and just more movement in general throughout the school day.
Almost every staff person is involved with keeping students active and moving throughout the school day. I have done several staff development sessions on incorporating movement in the classroom. I have also had students, who are active with our Fuel Up to Play 60 program, teach other classrooms how to do in-class physical activity breaks by making videos to share, making signs and posters, and teaching some teachers how GoNoodle.com works.
We have been involved with Let’s Move for the past few years. It is now a program that I regularly look to for inspiration, ideas and motivation to keep doing more.
The benefits of participating with Let’s Move! Active Schools and Alliance for a Healthier Generations are so clear when you see the interest and excitement with the students AND the staff at our school. It feels wonderful to talk with parents that recognize some of the things we are doing. There are also huge benefits in the classroom each day. The teachers here know and understand the importance of getting and keeping kids active here at school. It is all very rewarding.
Watch this inspiring video on how physical activity brain breaks in the classroom can improve student focus and encourage them to stay active throughout the day.
For more Active Schools success stories, visit www.ssww.com/blog/tag/lets-move-active-schools
About Let’s Move! Active Schools:
Let’s Move! Active Schools is a sub-initiative of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. They announced the 2015 National Award recipients which included 525 U.S. schools, recognized for their efforts of increasing physical activity for their students and creating an Active School environment. They are truly School Champions, making a difference in the world of physical education. S&S Worldwide joined Let’s Move! Active Schools to support their goal that Active Kids Do Better.
About the Author: Hugh Brockway is a physical education teacher at Lovettsville Elementary School in Loudoun County, VA. This is his 16th year teaching PE. Hugh is deeply committed to the Let’s Move Active Schools and Fuel Up to Play 60 programs at Lovettsville Elementary and in Loudoun County. Hugh and his wife, who is also a teacher, have two school aged children.