Beyond the Classroom: About that ‘Play 60’ program
Last year, in the hopes of teaching lifelong fitness, Little Flower Catholic School started participating in the “Play 60” program. This program is sponsored by the NFL and the National Dairy Council. It involves exercise and nutrition. At the beginning of the year and end of the year, we have school-wide exercise hour. The entire school is involved including staff, students and some parents.
This year, we started with our kickoff Friday. All Little Flower staff and students will meet at the Memorial Hall to exercise. Michelle from Hiitfit Junction in Rugby started us off with a warm up. Then students and staff went through a series of seven circuits or stations with different exercise activities. Teachers from Little Flower helped with some of the stations, while staff from Hiitfit Junction worked at two of the stations. After a rigorous workout, Michelle led a cool down. Little Flower PTO provided waters and a nutritious snack after the session.
The one thing that keeps this going are the students who ask, “When will we do ‘Play 60′ again?’ ” The children are always excited and participation is exceptional. It is so important to harness that energy that children have into something positive.
Another thing we try to do monthly is teach the children how to relieve stress with exercise. Let’s face it, we all live in stressful times. Children are not immune to that stress. Stress at school is very real. You and I may not remember school as being overly stressful as kids. Kids in this day and age are expected to learn more, and learn it faster than ever before. Teachers are under pressure to present a curriculum with so much information they could never reasonably get to it all in one year. Taking a 1-2 minute brain break, along with some exercise, stretching or some yoga moves can really make the difference. It helps the student relax and get more oxygen to the brain. I highly recommend to all teachers to give their students short brain breaks throughout the day to help maintain attention and make learning a little less stressful. Believe me, I know the day is piled high with what you need to get done, but I believe this works.