Originally published March 20, 2023 in the Grand Forks Herald.
By Joe Banish
Grand Forks South Middle School hosted a pilot event for “Able in School,” a physical education curriculum designed to improve outcomes for students with special needs.
Able in School is an offshoot of TNT Gymnastics and Fitness, a Fargo-based gymnasium providing children with mental and physical disabilities with a tailored environment to fit their needs. According to TNT’s website, it has provided an inclusive environment to improve the physical and emotional health of students in grades K-12 since its founding in 2006.
Fargo native Connor McGovern, center on the New York Jets and Able’s founder, said Able takes the mission of TNT and delivers it directly to schools, rather than having students travel to Able’s Fargo gymnasium.
“This curriculum is working on getting into schools, because it’s a lot more cost effective to have teachers trained on this system than bussing students to TNT,” McGovern said. “This way, the students get to do this every day or every other day depending on their school’s schedule.”
McGovern said Able in School will also work to address the growing rates of childhood obesity.
“It’s an outlet for people with special needs to get physical activity,” McGovern said. “Obesity is a severe problem in all populations, but it's definitely an epidemic in the special needs world.”
McGovern also founded the Able Games, an inclusive functional fitness competition featuring children of all ages.