While only about one-quarter of youth meet the current recommendation of at least 60 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity, Trenton students are getting more active right in the classroom using GoNoodle physical activity breaks or “brain breaks,” thanks to a generous sponsorship by St. Francis Medical Center Foundation. “Children are our future, and anything we can do to secure and assist in their life skills and education is an exciting endeavor that St. Francis Medical Center and the HealthTeacher team are anticipating with great excitement,” said Judith Rottkamp, Clinical Director, Professional Services, the individual who has spearheaded this entire project at St. Francis Medical Center.
GoNoodle is an online suite of interactive physical activity games designed to improve student engagement, behavior and performance. Each GoNoodle activity provides students with 3-5 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity they can perform next to their desks.
One of the GoNoodle activities, “Run With US!,” created in collaboration with the USA Track and Field Foundation, features Olympians and elite athletes coaching students in virtual track and field events. Three national champions with New Jersey New York Track Club will lead Trenton students in GoNoodle physical activity breaks in the classroom on Thursday, April 10th at Monument Elementary School at 9:15 a.m.
Students will meet New Jersey native Robby Andrews, ranked second in the 800 meter at the 2013 USA Indoor Championships; along with Cydney Ross, 800 meter qualifier for 2014 USA Championships; and Michael Rutt, 800 meter runner who broke the men’s 4 x 800 meter indoor world record in February with teammate Andrews.
Research shows that short bursts of physical activity have positive health benefits and improves student performance. According to a report from the Institute of Medicine, “children who are more active show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed, and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.”
In addition to the track and field game, GoNoodle includes dancing and calming exercises along with activities that incorporate math, spelling and vocabulary. Combining movement with learning provides an opportunity for students to benefit from activity while teachers can choose what types of activities to offer. Teachers in Trenton Public Schools can access GoNoodle for free by visiting gonoodle.com.
GoNoodle is a research-based classroom resource for elementary teachers to improve student engagement and youth health through desk side physical activity breaks. Helping to increase energy and focus while improving classroom behavior, GoNoodle’s activities can be played on an interactive whiteboard, projector or computer screen. Sign up for free at gonoodle.com