Feature

No more couch potatoes

Catherine A. Cocchio
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video clips. Follow- ing instructions on the exercise video tapes not only  provides  physical  activity,  but  also  helps develop listening skills needed for EQAO testing. “We don’t look at the exercise requirement as an inconvenience, but as a benefit to the whole day,” remarks Grade 3 teacher, Sharron Myers.

Avery Case, one of her students, says he likes getting  energized! “Sitting  is  hard  work.  Kids need to wiggle. I don’t like being called a couch potato.” Fellow student Alyssa Withington adds: “When I play school, I’m the gym teacher and we do exercises that build muscles and get ready to do sports. I like to skip, ride my bike, climb on the monkey bars and play grounder.”

Kindergarten students get 10 minutes of exer- cise daily wherever it fits into their flexible sched- ule.  Here,  the  biggest  problem  is  controlling the excitement factor. According to JK teacher, Kristin Vandersluis,  “It’s easier to handle when there’s an EA in the room.”

Dave Allin observes that there are “two kids in particular with remarkable changes in body size from last year to this. Maybe it’s just that they’re growing, but there is positive change. The kids seem more in tune with their bodies and under- stand that change is possible.”

“It  would be  interesting to  look  at  data on office  visits,” comments  Vice Principal,  Byron Hodgson. “I suspect there are fewer issues on the yard, partly because of intramurals.”

In the end, administrators won’t need statistics to judge the success of the program. All they’ll have to do is listen to students at play in the yard: “Five potato, six potato, COUCH POTATO NO MORE!”

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