Setting Preschoolers on an Active Path

Originally published Feb. 12, 2019 in U.S. News & World Reports.

By Len Canter, HealthDay Reporter

Physical activity is closely linked to development of a child’s mental skills — ones essential to academic success and navigating challenges they’ll face throughout life.

Studies show that boosts in thinking ability, or executive function, often follow bouts of activity. But only one-third of children are physically active every day. Less than half the time they spend in school activities — like physical education, team practices and even games — includes movement that qualifies as physical activity. This shortfall means that their physical health, as well as their mental skills, may suffer. Read More

‘I have a first grader who hasn’t been outside since October’: Mom questions lack of recess

Originally published Feb. 4, 2019 in the Bristol Herald Courier.

By Valerie Honeycutt Spears

The mother of two Fayette County, Ky., students is questioning how much physical activity her children get at school.

Janine Schmedding-Bartley, who has two children at Millcreek Elementary School, said her “first-grader hasn’t been outside since October.

At a public hearing, she said her fifth-grade daughter and her first-grade son get far less physical activity than was offered at schools in Michigan. The family moved from there to Lexington this academic year. Read More

A hop, skip and jump away from doing better in class

Originally published Jan. 21, 2019 in the Rockland/WestChester Journal News.

By Kimberly Redmond

Kids in the Suffern Central school district may just be a hop, skip and jump away from doing better in class.

In the corridor leading to the kindergarten, first- and second-grade classrooms at Sloatsburg Elementary School, a colorful sequence of decals are affixed to the floor, creating a pathway. Read More

Fitness fun at Family Fit Night

Originally published Jan. 8, 2019 in the York Weekly/

By Ralph Morang

Coastal Ridge Elementary School Fitness and Health Teacher Rich Johnston has hit the ground running. Literally.

Johnston said his focus is on making sure the curriculum hits on all the standards for each grade. More importantly to him is that the students, who are in grades 2-4, look forward to coming to their physical education class each week, and that they learn fitness and health can be fun. Read More


Roanoke County School Board approves longer recess for elementary students

Originally published Dec. 14, 2018 in the Roanoke Times.

By Andrew Adkins

Recess time will officially be extended for Roanoke County elementary school students, following a trial run that administrators said has yielded positive results.

The Roanoke County School Board approved the new recess policy Thursday through its consent agenda. Central office staff had proposed the move last month. Read More