Recess is vital for children’s development

Originally published March 29, 2018 in the Sandusky Register.

By Rachel Velishek

I am a full-time working mom. Every day, I strive to find the balance between meeting my children’s emotioA counselor explains the value recess at school plays in the overall development of young children.nal, mental, and cognitive development AND maintaining a home and work.

Parenting for this generation is different than in the past; we receive so many opinions, research from every demographic regarding every issue — cloth diapers or disposable; co-sleeping or not; homeschool or public schooling. Read More

recess

Madisonville CISD school board given petition to increase recess

Originally published March 5, 2018 by KBTX-TV3.

By Whitney Miller

A Madisonville CISD mother says she’s concerned about the lack of recess her children are getting at Madisonville Intermediate.

Monday night, Brooke Willis presented a petition with nearly 300 signatures to the school board, in hopes they will add daily recess to the district’s master schedule.

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fitness centers

Fitness centers allow Carlisle High School students to pursue individual goals

Originally published March 12, 2018 in the Sentinel.

By Joseph Cress

As of mid-January, physical education class has changed for Carlisle High School students.

Half the time they spend in each physical education course will now involve the pursuit of an individualized fitness plan for self-improvement.

The change was made possible by the recent development of separate fitness centers in the Swartz and McGowan buildings that now give every student access to cardio and weight training equipment.

The Swartz Fitness Center was the result of an expansion of that building’s weight room that more than doubled its floor space. That work was coordinated with a project to remodel the much smaller McGowan weight room into a fitness center. Both became operational in January.

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fitness time

In response to research, schools boost physical fitness time

Originally published Feb. 26, 2018 by Education Dive.

By Amelia Harper

Schools are paying more attention to the need to include physical fitness as experts like Charles Hillman, an advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, say that evidence of the connection between fitness and brain function has mounted steadily over the years, according to the Hechinger Report.

In 2015, only 27% of high school students were getting the recommended number of minutes of daily exercise, and girls, Hispanic students, and black students received less exercise than white students, according to data from Child Trends.

Some school districts are trying new physical education approaches that are reaping results. In Fort Worth, for example, a school switched to four 15-minute periods of recess per day instead of one 20 minute session and saw a 25% to 35% decrease in off-task behaviors. And in Wisconsin, the state education department is now overseeing a program called Core 4+ (or “active kids, active classrooms) that features interventions to increase movement during the school day. Read More

How a growing number of states are hoping to improve kids’ brains: exercise

Originally published Feb. 21, 2018 in The Hechinger Report.

By Lilian Mongeau

APPLETON, Wisc. — Middle school students at Kaleidoscope Academy, a district charter school in Appleton, Wisconsin, are constantly moving. Everyone has a physical education class, called “phy-ed” here, at least twice a week. On top of that, there’s a daily lunch break that comes with time for kids to get outside and move around. Students can also choose from two additional exercise-focused electives — dance and personal fitness — which for some students can mean a 40-minute exercise period every day.

And the action doesn’t stop there. Teachers like Lisa Sackman in the sixth-grade wing offer “brain breaks” every 20 minutes. Teacher Travis Olsen has an exercise bike in the back of his seventh-grade science classroom that kids are welcome to use whenever they feel the need. And eighth-grade co-teachers Abby Jolma and Toni Giebel let kids sit on wobbly chairs — short stools with a curved base — yoga balls, or traditional chairs while they learn math and science.

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