Let’s Move! Active Schools, part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative recently honored Bellingham High School, Fairhaven Middle School and Cordata Elementary School with the 2016 Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award for outstanding efforts in creating an active school environment. Only 544 schools across the country achieved this honor in 2016.
The Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award recognizes schools that seek to help students learn, focus and grow through the integration of at least 60 minutes per day of before, during and after school physical activity.
“This award is an outstanding recognition for our schools and the district,” said Caroline Greer, physical education teacher at Cordata.
To earn a Let’s Move! Active Schools National Award, a school must have met benchmarks in five areas: physical education; physical activity before and after school; physical activity during school; staff involvement; and family and community engagement.
Physical Education in Our Schools
At Bellingham High School and Fairhaven Middle School physical education staff are taking actions to teach their colleagues techniques for helping their students stay active in the classroom. These exercises (or “brain energizers” as the teachers like to call them) help students stay focused and healthy during the school day.
“Especially with 100 minute block classes, it is important to give students a chance to do some physical activity,” said physical education teacher Darin Nolan.
At Bellingham High School students can access the gym and weight room before school. After school, a variety of sports are available for students to participate in.
At Fairhaven Middle School students have access to open gym before school. Fairhaven also offers an intramural program, opportunities to play sports after school and daily exercise in physical education class.
Tanya Peckler, physical education teacher at Fairhaven, said just like any other academic area, there are learning standards for physical education. These standards are posted around the gym so students know what the expectations are for their learning. In additional to student learning, physical education teachers at Fairhaven also present challenges for other staff members to demonstrate healthy lifestyles for themselves and students.
At Cordata, through partnerships with local community organizations there are before and after school activities for kids so they can stay active.
“The goal is 100 minutes of activity per week,” said Greer. “Since students only get part of that during physical education class per week, we create opportunities for activities outside of this time.” Greer mentioned that students in K-2 per state guidelines, dance or move while they sing in music classes, this is designed to help students increase their activity time during the school day.
Throughout the school year Let’s Move! Active Schools will provide schools with continued information, resources, and inspiration needed to build healthier lives for future generations of students.