Georgia Shape and Walk Georgia Contest Challenges Classrooms to Get Active

March 1, 2016

Walk Georgia and Georgia Shape are working together to challenge teachers and students across the state to move more.

Recently, they held a month-long contest challenging Georgia schools to get moving and log their active hours in the classroom. Prizes for the winning classroom included recognition during the Atlanta Hawks game on Feb. 20 as well as classroom and teacher prize kits.

Out of the 148 classrooms that participated, it was Samantha Richardson’s Kindergarten class at Shirley Hills Elementary in Houston County that secured first place. Her classroom logged a total of 517 hours and 4 minutes of exercise during the contest time period from Jan. 15 to Feb. 15.

Richardson, who also teaches group fitness classes at her local gym, heard about the challenge and knew she needed to make more time for exercise in the classroom.

“We use a lot of GoNoodle in our classroom and the FreshStart Fitness channel,” said Richardson. “When the kids walk in, the video is on and they unpack and get moving!”

Richardson explained that this exercise time gets the students’ blood flowing, helping them to be more focused and ready to work.

Honorable mentions were awarded to classrooms in two other schools - Mrs. Freeman’s Kindergarten class at Still Elementary School in Cobb County placed second and Miss Davis’ Kindergarten class at North Dodge Elementary School in Dodge County placed third.

This partnership between Walk Georgia and Georgia Shape provided an engaging opportunity to raise awareness about the connection between physical health and academic performance.

Research has shown that students who are engaged in daily physical activity tend to perform better in academic settings, demonstrate more positive behavioral patterns and have higher test scores.  

“We’re thrilled to recognize Mrs. Richardson and her students from Shirley Hills Elementary School,” said Emily Anne Vall, Ph.D., Georgia Shape project manager. “We’re also inspired by all of the teachers and students who participated in our friendly competition. Their efforts are a great demonstration of how attaining fitness and academic goals in the classroom can be a fun team-building experience for all students throughout Georgia.”

Shirley Hills is also one of the 800 elementary schools in Georgia who have signed the Power Up for 30 Pledge to integrate more physical activity into the school day. Richardson attended the free, one-day Power Up for 30 training to receive resources and ideas on how to make the daily curriculum routine more physical active.

“I’m thrilled to hear that teachers like Mrs. Richardson are seeing the benefits of moving while learning,” says Kelly Cornett, Georgia Shape’s physical activity and school health specialist who coordinates Power Up for 30 across the state. “They are the true advocates for how physical activity enhances the learning environment.”

Visit Georgia Shape online to access the Power Up for 30 pledge and learn more about how the initiative is encouraging active and healthy lifestyles among Georgia’s youth. 

About the Author

You might like...

November 9, 2016

Fifty-three school districts in Georgia were presented with Golden Radish Awards celebrating the incredible gains made in the farm to school movement. These districts represent nearly one-third of all public school districts in Georgia, reaching more than 1 million students.

September 1, 2016

Georgia Shape is pleased to announce that 218 schools received the 2016 Governor’s Shape Honor Roll recognition for their outstanding work in building classroom-based student health programs.

May 26, 2016

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­To help celebrate the close of the 2015-2016 school year, Georgia Shape helped elementary schools across the state gear up for an active summer with a Power Up for Summer celebration.